This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1842 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XI. IN HIS HOLYMoreThis historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1842 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XI. IN HIS HOLY ORDINANCES. It is but a continuation of the same subject: we need scarcely have divided it by so much as the heading of a chapter.
Religious ordinances are the specific appointment of God for the sustaining and perfecting of his redeemed, for the conversion and sanctification of those whom He justifies and saves. They cannot justify--they cannot save: they are medicines for the sick, unavailing to the dead: food for the living, but unavailable to the unquickened soul. Am I a God to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send to me to recover a man of his leprosy?
If the hallowed elements and emblamatic water, the font, the altar, the hassock, or the pulpit, the holy sabbath-day and the most holy Book, might answer for themselves, this would be their language. It is no fault in the ordinance that it is found standing in the temple of God shewing itself that it is God: he who so places it, so thinks of it, and so uses it, has made, as idolaters were ever used to do, an idol of Gods workmanship, profanely calling upon it to exercise his incommunicable attributes: vainly looking to it as the source and giver of divine life.
But might not God alienate his life-giving power, so as to commit the exercise of it to vicarious hands or vest it in some second cause? I do not think he could- and I am sure He does not: for then the power of life must either become inherent in the means, so as to be inseparable from it, --or it must be discretionary in it- to be exercised at will- and in either case we make the means a god- endowed with power--to kill and to make alive.
It was not so in the typical disease, --the leprosy of old. The priest to whom it was committed to make the leper clean, had no discretionary power to...