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making the invidious attempt to depreciate their value, and derogate from their merits. The zeal and ability with which many of the early Fathers vindicate the truth and proclaim the excellence of that holy religion which they professed-the readiness with which they submitted to be brought before rulers and kings for the sake of the gospel-the Christian fortitude with which they encountered death under its most appalling forms, rather than renounce their allegiance to their Divine Master, justly entitle them to the love and veneration of posterity. Moreover, the testimony which we find in their writings to the canon and divine inspiration of the scriptures, to the universal reception of the great fundamental doctrines of the Trinity in Unity, of the Divinity, Incarnation and Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the indissoluble union in His Person of the Divine and human natures, without which that atonement would have been unavailing, confer upon those writings an inestimable value.

The attestation which they furnish in proof of Dr. Paley's first leading proposition in his valuable Work on the Evidences*-of the three distinct orders of the Ministry-of infant baptism-of the frequent celebration of the Lord's Supper-and of the substitution and constant observance of the Lord's-day in the room

"There is satisfactory evidence that many, professing to have been ori ginal witnesses of the christian miracles, passed their lives in labours, dangers, and sufferings, voluntarily undergone in attestation of the accounts which they delivered, and solely in consequence of their belief of the truth of those accounts; and that they also submitted, from the same motives, to new rules of conduct."


of the Jewish Sabbath, is likewise of great importance.* But in estimating the authority which is to be conceded to their opinions in general, as expositors of scripture, their merits must be tried by the same criterion as those of any other writers, viz. by a reference to the infallible standard of the inspired volume. Our appeal must be to the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. The sentiments of that ornament of the Reformation--Bishop Jewel-upon this point are entitled to peculiar deference, as his acquaintance with their writings has probably never been surpassed. "We deny not," says he in his controversy with Harding, "We deny not the learned Fathers' expositions and judgments in doubtful cases of the scriptures. We read them ourselves, we follow them, we embrace them, and as I said before, we most humbly thank God for them. But thus we say, the same Fathers' opinions and judgments, forasmuch as they are sometimes disagreeable one from another, and sometimes imply contrarieties and contradictions, therefore alone and of themselves, without farther authority and guiding of God's word, are not always sufficient warrants to charge our faith. And thus the learned Catholic Fathers themselves have

* Mr. Pearson's valuable sermon on Tradition had not fallen in my way till after this charge had been prepared for delivery. It was, therefore, a great satisfaction to me to find that the brief view which I had been led to take of the writings of the fathers had been confirmed at large by so able and judicious a writer.

evermore taught us to esteem and to weigh the Fathers."-The Author of the life of this eminent apologist of the Church of England has stated "that he shows irresistibly, that any one who insists on a literal and rigorous interpretation of the Fathers, when speaking of the Sacrament or OF VARIOUS OTHER MATTERS, will soon find himself involved in a labyrinth of heresy, and absurdity, and contradiction." ↑

I now pass on to the consideration of another point.

In the advertisement to the first volume of the Oxford Tracts, it is stated "that the sacraments, not preaching, are the sources of Divine Grace," and again, in the 41st. Tract, "that Almighty God has said His Son's merits shall wash away all sin, and that they shall be conveyed to believers through the two sacraments." In what part of scripture the writers of these Tracts can find any authority for affirming that preaching is not a source of grace, and a very influential one-when, like that of St Paul, it is not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power-I am

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* Defence of the Apology. Jewel's Works, p. 63.-This learned controversialist then quotes in proof of the last proposition, 1st, Origen.-"The discussing of our judgment must be taken only of the scriptures (ex solis scripturis.)”—“ Our judgments and expositions without witness of the scriptures have no credit.”—2. Augustine.-"My consent without exception I owe (not unto any Father, were he never so well learned, but "only to the holy canonical scriptures (solis canonicis scripturis.)”—“ I require the voice of the Shepherd, read me this matter out of the prophets;-read it me out of the psalms;—read it me out of the law ;-read it out of the gospel ;-read it out of the Apostles."-See Appendix viii.

The Life of Bishop Jewel. By Charles Webb Le Bas, M. A. p. 302.

at a loss to conceive.* As if at once to confute this theory, St. Paul in 1. Cor. i. thanks God that he had baptized none of them, with the exception of Crispus and Gaius-and for what reason ?--Because he had been sent not to baptize, but to preach the gospel. In disproof, also, of such an hypothesis, we find in the New Testament many passages, in which the word of God, when accompanied with the efficacious influence of the Spirit, and when, through faith, apprehended by the understanding, applied to the conscience, and assented to by the will, is represented as the great mean or instrument of man's salvation-not to the exclusion

* Such was not the opinion of our Reformers, when, in the inimitable prayer "for the whole state of Christ church's militant here in earth," they teach us to say :-" Give grace, O heavenly Father! to all bishops and curates, that they may both by their life and doctrine set forth thy true and lively word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy sacraments." That learned and pious ritualist, Dean Comber, has observed upon this petition, that it "takes in the main part of their office, first, to set forth the holy Word of God, both as it is the truth, (John xvii. 17.), for the direction and instruction of the ignorant, and as it is the lively power of God unto salvation, (Rom. i. 16.) For THE CONVERSION OF THOSE THAT ARE DEAD IN SIN, which is to be done, as is here intimated, not only by plain and affectionate preaching, but also by pure and unblameable living, which doth better explain God's will, and more vigorously excite the people to observe it, than the most learned commentator, or the most eloquent oration. The second part of their duty is, "rightly," according to the institution of Christ, and "duly," as the necessities of the Church require to administer those two sacraments, which are of divine ordination, viz. baptism, and the Lord's supper, which no other order of men can lawfully dispense, so that if ministers should neglect the celebration of them, or do it unduly, it would be a great damage and discomfort to the Church of Christ. Let us, therefore, beg large measures of grace for our bishops and pastors, THAT THEIR PREACHING MAY CONVERT US, their lives invite us to imitation, and their dispensing of the sacraments may comfort and strengthen us in all goodness." Companion to the Temple, part iii. § vii, page 42.

of the two sacraments-but in concurrence with them. The sacraments, being positive institutions which rest upon the basis of the same Divine authority as the written word-being, in fact, prescribed and enjoined by that word-must be duly administered and devoutly received. But they are not the sole exclusive channels through which Grace is conveyed.

The whole of Rom. x. might be studied with advantage in reference to this subject. I will adduce only a small portion which is immediately connected with it. In v. 13. the Apostle cites a passage from the prophet Joel, in which it is announced that whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, i. e. whosoever shall invoke his name with such a faith as relies implicitly on the sufficiency of his merits, and is the root and principle of all holy obedience to his will, shall obtain eternal salvation. But none of the lost children of men can thus call upon him, if they know him not, or if they be ignorant of the way of life and salvation, through him. The Apostle accordingly proceeds to inquire-How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher ? and how shall they preach except they be sent ?-From these animated interrogatories, and the negations which they imply, he draws this conclusion, so then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

If we extend our investigation further, shall we not find regeneration and sanctification, as well as final

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