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· whereon he might rest his foot in peace. She was the rainbow that reminded him of a promise to be faithfully kept, the pillar of fire that led him through the deep waters, the manna that sustained him in the wilderness.
But oh, how much brighter, surer, stronger, even than this, is the hope of the gospel, that “ true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world;" that Star of Bethlehem, that guides him under all difficulties to the refuge of Jesus, and is a full assurance, however the world frowns, unto the end. “Strong is the dwelling-place of this christian hope, and it putteth its nest in a rock.” It is put on for an helmet when the hosts of the spiritual enemy encompass us; it is “as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast," when we are “wavering like a wave of the sea ; " " a still small voice," that, amid the flame, the earthquake, and the whirlwind of trouble, softly whispers peace. In time of affliction, when we mourn heavily for a loss that mortality has inflicted, hope supports the hands that hang down, and the feeble knees. In adversity, when the heart is disconsolate and the worldly estate low, “ the hope of the righteous is gladness ;" he trusts in God, and knows that all will be well with him. In the season of deep selfabasement, when the soul mourns its vileness, and repents of its misdoings, even then also does the cherub Hope hover over it with silver wings, and sing the songs of Zion to the wanderer from the fold. And in sickness, how sweet is it to soothe our sorrows and allay our pains with “ an expectation that shall not be cut off ;” a “good hope through grace ;' a confident anticipation that " whether living or dying, we shall be the Lord's ;” and that, in all things pertaining to our souls or bodies, “ the Lord will not be slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but be long-suffering to usward.” And even in old age the hope of the gospel fails not the true believer. Decline though he may in strength, in health, in mind, in memory, in energy, yet does his bodily infirmity “work patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost which is given unto him.” And when death draws near, with like intensity doth “the earnest expectation of the creature wait for the manifestation of the sons of God.” Walking through the valley of the shadow of death,” he, notwithstanding, “rejoices in hope of the glory of God," and “ holds fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”
But let us make ourselves acquainted, Thirdly, with the fruits of this “lively hope." We are said in the text to be “ begotten unto it. This, wherever it has taken place, has been the work of the Spirit, and there, consequently, we may as invariably expect to see “ the fruits of the Spirit.” Inward purity is a fruit of this lively hope. “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as God is pure.” It produces a spiritual courage ; for, notwithstanding scoff, and sneer, and opposition, and misinterpretation,“ hope maketh not ashamed,” and “cannot be moved away" from its trust, and entertains a strong conviction that, “ with all boldness as always, so now also Christ may be magnified in the body, whether it be by life or by death.”
Joy, even under adverse and doubtful circumstances, is the offspring of a lively hope. That blessed thing for which we hope hereafter, we seem almost to realize beforehand while we think of it. It was thus that Stephen saw, in his dying hour,“ heaven open,” and that Paul could “rejoice and glory in tribulations."
Patience is another goodly tree, that “a lively hope” hath planted; that patience which “ endureth all things” meekly for the present, and will wait God's appointed time, even though that time were the day of the resurrection, for deliverance. We are taught to “sorrow not as others that have no hope ;" to " wait for the hope of righteousness by faith :" “through patience and comfort of the Scriptures to have hope;" and to “ have a strong consolation in flying for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us."
St. Paul, in exhorting to personal holiness, makes this well-founded hope the motive,“ teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live righteously, soberly, and godly, in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” And, lastly, St. Peter proves in the text by his own declaration and confession, that gratitude for all spiritual benefits is engendered by an abiding conviction of the truth and future fulfilment of all God's promises. “Blessed," with this grateful apostle, “ be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
But, Fourthly, let us understand the object to which this lively hope so habitually directs its attention.
And must it not be an object of some interest, some importance, some attractiveness, if it gives birth to so powerful a principle, sustains it, directs it, sanctifies it from first to last, constrains the whole man, regulates the whole life, purifies the whole soul ? Yes, brethren, it must be-- it is an object of interest, importance, and attractiveness unspeakable, to which even the impenitent would wish to come--to which even the ignorant would covet to attain, the inheritance of everlasting life. And oh! what “an inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for those who are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation," and " wait all the days of their appointed time till their change come.” “Eye hath not seen" the glorious sight, “ ear hath not heard” the unspeakable words, “the harpers harping with their harps" the hallelujahs of “ just men made perfect." And Scripture saith, that “ the things which God hath prepared for them that love him,” have not even “ entered into the heart of man;" and it is the main business of that true christian hope we have been describing to assure itself of the reality, to almost forestall them on earth, and to desire nothing so much as an eternal and endless interest in those beatific mysteries of the kingdom of God.
This then, brethren, is the great, engrossing, primary object to which he who hath a truly christian hope devotes the prayers, vows, aims, desires, efforts, occupations, principles, of all the days of his pilgrimage. He is sure that the life of the next world is everlasting life, and knowing the uncertainty of this transitory life, he is most anxious to make the exchange. He is sure that in heaven he shall be in the immediate presence of God himself; and, experiencing the enmities and treacheries of an evil world, he longs earnestly to be out of it. He is sure that, in a world of glorified spirits, are “ gathered together in one” the glorified spirits of those who were dear to him on earth, and who, when on earth, never failed to perform their heavenly Father's will, and feeling a desolation here, he prays to be admitted there. He is sure that, in eternal glory, there is “ rest for the people of God;" and being assured of it, he humbly trusts that he may enter into it sometime or other. He is sure that, in the place of the blessed, there is peace; and he hopes earnestly that in and through Christ he may obtain it. He is sure that, in paradise, there is joy unspeakable ; and he hopes, though he “ rejoices in tribulation,” that in a society where tribulation is excluded, he shall be permitted to taste of “ joy that no man taketh from him." He is sure that, in the world to come, there is love ; and being sick and wearied of a scene where benevolence is ostentatious and friendship is false; he hopes to inhabit eternally one of those many heavenly mansions which are not too many for love to reign in all ; where - both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one,” and “ Christ, as a Son over his own house,” abideth for ever.
I scarcely think I need much argument to convince you, brethren, in conclusion, that the hope I have been describing, so spiritual in its foundation, so severe in its exercise, so abundant in its fruit, so heavenly in its object, should be yours—yours in effect and in substance, yours in the christian sense, yours altogether.
It is not the hope of the poor, that he may see better days, which is earthly; nor the hope of the young, that he may run his race of pleasure, which is sinful. It is not the heathen's hope, which is dark; “ the hypocrite's hope, which shall perish ;" the infidel's hope, which being “ in this life only, is of all things most miserable ;" but it is the hope founded on faith, exercised in trial, “ full of good fruits," " pressing" forwards “ towards the mark, the prize of our high calling.” Who would not have so good a hope, so full an assurance, so scriptural an anticipation of future glory? Who would not love to look forward from this dark prison-house of flesh into a bright vision of futurity, and in the midst of the sorest ills of life mentally see “heaven open, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God ;' be “ troubled on every side, yet not distressed ; perplexed, but not in despair ; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed ?" Then, with the assistance of God's Holy Spirit, make this, which must surely be your fervent wish, your habitual practice. Let not yours be the hope of the heathen, the hypocrite, or the infidel, but the hope of the Christian. Let the words of Balaam, “ I shall see him, but not now," be at the same time your comfort and your restraint, warning you against all delusive hope, reminding you that He whom you must see as Judge and Saviour of the world, will be mighty to punish as well as mighty to save; and “ bidding you be of good cheer' in trouble if you are studying to please God, but predicting most grievous, most woful, most terrible disappointment if you are “hearkening unto your own wills more than unto God.” The time will soon be coming when“ all these things will come to pass ;” when the sinner will be overwhelmed with despair, and those“ prisoners of hope” who have so long sighed for liberty, and so long “groaned, being burdened,” will be delivered; when faith, the foundation, and trial, the exercise of hope, will not be needed ; and its fruits will be made fully apparent, and its object finally attained. It will be indeed true in that day that “ cursed," as saith the Lord, “ is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh ; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness in a salt land, and not inhabited.” And it will also be true that “ blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh ; but her leaf shall be green, and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." Tirley Vicarage.
J. F. H.
POPISH IDOLATRY. MR. EDITOR,—There is a note in page 15 of a work of Mr, Faber, entitled “ Recapitulated Apostasy,” which deserves a far more extended circulation than it can possibly receive in a publication intended chiefly for the learned: it is a note on Pope Gregory the Sixteenth's Encyclical Letter to the Prelates of the Romish Church, which is to be found translated in the “ Laity's Directory" for 1833 ; and also in the “ Catholic Magazine and Review” for January 1833. The passage in the Papal Letter runs as follows:-" But that all may have a successful and happy issue, let us raise our eyes to the most blessed Virgin Mary, who alone destroys heresies; who is our greatest hope, yea, the entire ground of our hope. .....We will also IMPLORE IN HUMBLE PRAYER from Peter, the prince of the Apostles, and from his fellow Apostle Paul, that you may all stand as a wall to prevent any other foundation than what hath been laid.”
Here, (remarks Mr. Faber,) as exhibited by the Pope himself, we have the authorized Popery of the nineteenth century ; here we may see revived in all its undisguised offensiveness the idolatrously blasphemous Collyridian heresy, so justly stigmatized by Epiphanius as a Báopnuov npãyua; here, associated with the direct adoration of the Virgin as our greatest hope, we may note a professedly HUMBLE PRAYER, in which this head of the great apostasy directly IMPLORES from Peter and from Paul the power of standing firmly upon the foundation alleged (I suppose) to have been laid by Christ, but really laid by the perverse industry of a lamentably corrupt communion.
The common evasion, copied from Bossuet, that Romanists do not worship the Virgin and saints, but merely beg their intercessory prayers at the throne of grace, will not, in the present passage, avail. It cannot be too often repeated that, in the year 1832, Mary has, by Pope Gregory himself, been declared to be the greatest hope, yea, the entire ground of the hope entertained by his most deplorably ill-taught flock ; nor should it ever be forgotten, that the same Pope recommends to the same flock the IMPLORING IN HUMBLE PRAYER from two of the Apostles the grace of pretended christian steadfastness. If this be not rank, unblushing idolatry, the word idolatry is a word without meaning.
Now, Sir, let me remark to you, that this letter is of the same authority as if it had been enacted by the Council of Trent; it is addressed by the Head of the Roman Church to all patriarchs, primates, archbishops, and bishops, and it has never been protested against by them; and when they tacitly assent to any letter or decree of the Pope, it becomes a “ judicium irreformabile," and is admitted to contain the true doctrine of the Church.-See Dr. Delahogue's “ Treatise on the Church," page 152, edit. 1829. See also Dr. Murray's Examination before a Select Committee of the House of Commons, 17th May, 1825.
Now, Sir, these facts may well administer a salutary caution to certain writers (See No. 71, Tracts for the Times,) who are seeking to gloss over the corruptions of Popery, and one of whom, I am informed, has gone so far as to affirm that there is nothing in the doctrines of Popery which prevents our conscientiously communicating with the Church of Rome! Nor will such writers be less benefited by studying the articles of the church to which they profess to belong, particularly the 22d, 28th, and 31 st.
CHAPLAINS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. The Chaplains of the House of Commons have presented the following petition to the House of Commons :The humble Petition of the Rev. FREDERICK VERNON Lockwood, A.M.; Rev. Edward Repton, A.M.; and the Rev. TEMPLE FRERE, A.M.,
Showeth, That your petitioners severally filled the office of Chaplain to your honourable house ; and at the close of their services your honourable house was pleased to extend to them respectively, in addresses to the throne, the same mark of its approval as had been invariably testified towards its Chaplains for nearly 200 years.
That, in answer to these addresses, his late Majesty was graciously pleased to express his royal pleasure, as communicated to your honourable house, in the annexed minute taken from its journals:
" Lord Althorp (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) appeared at the bar of the house, and stated that he had communicated to his Majesty the address moved by this house, that his Majesty would be graciously pleased to confer some dignity in the church upon the Rev. * * the Chaplain of this house; and he was commanded by his Majesty to inform this house that his Majesty will confer some dignity in the church upon the Rev. * * * the Chaplain of this house, as was desired. VOL. XX. NO. VII.