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own church, and with her excellent constitution ; so that you will be prepared to subscribe to her Articles and formularies heartily and ex animo; instead, perhaps, of having your mind disturbed with doubts and difficulties, after you have entered into the ministry. You will also be ready to resist all strange doctrines contrary to God's word; you will be prepared “rightly to divide the word of truth ;” and you will be able by sound doctrine, both to “exhort and convince the gainsayers.” Be persuaded then, while preparing for the sacred office, to "give attendance to reading, to doctrine ; meditate upon these things, give thyself wholly unto them,” with continual prayer to God for his teaching and heavenly benediction ; and no doubt, in due time, if spared to the exercise of the ministry, your “profiting will appear unto all.” Note (m).
PSALM CXXII. VERSE 6.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem : they shall
prosper that love thee.
The Psalm from whence this verse is taken, appears to have been composed for the Jewish church, and was sung by them when going up to worship at Jerusalem on their four great festivals ; “ for there were set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.” The Lord had placed his name there, by the settlement of the Ark of the Covenant in that city, and there he had promised to meet and bless his people : hence Jerusalem became a name for the church of Christ in after-ages ; a name both for the church militant on earth, and for the church triumphant in heaven. Thus we find the church of Christ addressed in the sublime language of the Prophet : “ Awake, awake ; put on thy strength, 0 Zion; put on thy beautiful gar
ments, 0 Jerusalem, thou holy city.” And again, “For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake will I not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth ; and the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory.” When speaking of the church triumphant, St. Paul said of her, “Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” And in the Revelation of St. John we read, that “one of the seven angels, which had the seven vials, talked with him, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife; and he carried me away in the spirit, to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.”
It is for the peace of Christ's church, that the Psalmist in our text exhorts believers to pray, whilst he promises prosperity to those who love her : her peace on earth is intimately connected with her final success and increase in heaven; we should, therefore, “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” Here, indeed, she is in a fluctuating and unsettled state; she is described as an ark, in the midst of the waves of a troublesome world; and her true members are taught by their divine Master to expect, that “ in the world they shall have tribulation."
But in the midst of enemies, and under the severest trials, the church has ever been upheld and preserved by the providence of God.—How strikingly was this typified to Moses in the desert, when he beheld“ the bush burning with fire, and the bush was not consumed !”
But the tribulation which has attended the church of Christ in every age, is accounted for in the word of God, where we plainly see the cause; because it is taken out of the world, and possesses a different character and spirit from that of the world, which lieth in wickedness, therefore the world will hate it, and fight against it. “ If ye were of the world,” said Christ to his disciples, “the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord ; if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.". It was so from the beginning: Cain hated Abel, and slew his brother ; Esau hated Jacob, and purposed in his heart to slay him ; and Ishmael, the son of the bondwoman, mocked Isaac, the promised seed. My brethren, the character of the world is not changed; "but as then, he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now :” yes, there are Ishmaels in every age. Whilst, therefore, the church exists
below, she is in an enemy's country, subject to persecutions and trials, and has much need, continually to pray for peace.
And surely, either in a political or religious point of view, nothing is so delightful, or so desirable, as peace ; it was the blessed gift of God from heaven, which accompanied a Saviour's birth : for when the heavenly host sang praises to God on that memorable occasion, and gave glory to Him in the highest, they also proclaimed in the same breath, “and on earth, peace, good will towards men.” It was the last bequest of our blessed Lord to his sorrowing disciples, when about to leave our earth, “ Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” As professing to belong to the family and church of Christ, we lay claim to our share in this his blessed legacy and bequest ; and I feel no hesitation in declaring, that from the consideration of the constitution and doctrines of our church, we can fully substantiate our claim.
Apostolical in her constitution, the doctrines of the Church of England are derived from the pure fountain of Scripture truth; her sacraments, ceremonies, and liturgical services, are all founded upon these, so much so, as to contain within themselves an epitome, as it were, of Scripture doctrine and Scripture truth. They are so constituted, that one part cannot be denied or taken away, without in fact denying the