« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
And, while we are thus labouring to magnify our office, our thoughts, towards them who, in very truth, for conscience sake are separated from us, may well be thoughts of kindness and of charity. Yea-we trust, thus much may be truly said ; that,-if, in the day which shall reveal all hidden things, it shall appear that their labours have been largely and graciously accepted,—then, of all the spirits before the throne, none will rejoice more fervently than they, who, in the days of their flesh, may have sometimes felt constrained to withstand them to the face.
Finally,—we are this day assembled on a spot, of which we surely may exclaim, in the language of the Patriarch, How awful is this place!! For, here, if any where, we may feel as if encompassed by a cloud of witnesses ; even by the spirits of many righteous men, who in the darkest days of old, still fought the fight of Faith, and lived the life of Hope, and did the works of Charity : by the spirits too, of them, who, when the refiner's fire was in the land, were seen to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and loved not their lives even unto the death ?. And here, also, we may seem to be in the very presence of illustrious men, who gloriously upheld, and defended, and adorned, the Church, whose
* Gen. xxviii. 17.
2 Rev. xii. 7.
deliverance had been wrought out by them that went before. From what place, then, can our prayers ascend, with brighter hope, unto the mercy seat, in behalf of him, who now has entered into this venerable and time-honoured sanctuary; there to hear, from his brethren, the awful words, “ Receive the Holy Ghost, for the office and work of a Bishop in the Church of God, now committed unto thee, by the imposition of our hands; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Let us implore the Lord of all power and might, that the gift, now to be imparted unto him, may never, for a moment, languish or slumber in his heart; but that, day by day, and hour and by hour, he may be impelled to “stir up the grace of God which is given unto him :" remembering that, henceforth, the spirit of fear must be banished for ever; and the spirit of power, and of love, and of soberness, must have dominion. Let this be our prayer; at least, if we have a heart which yearns for the peace of Jerusalem, and for the prosperity and honour of the house of our God. For, truly, when a Bishop is set apart for the oversight of the Church of Christ, a mighty, and a solemn work is done, in the sight of Angels and Archangels, and all the company of Heaven. A man is then exalted to an office, by which, if worthily discharged, he is numbered, like the prophet, among the chariots of Israel and the horsemen
thereof. And seldom has it been more needful that the chariots should be strong, and the commanders faithful, than now it is ; now, that the hearts of men are failing them for fear ; now, that the judgments of God, as to many a watchful eye it seems, are casting their shadows before them, to warn us of a period of sore temptation. And, lest he, who now is to be set apart, should faint under his burden,-lest he should be wearied with that heaviest of all trials, the contradiction of sinners,-let us pray that he may be able to keep perpetually before him the thought which always caused the Apostle to triumph,– namely, that whether he shall be a savour of life unto life, or a savour of death unto death, yet shall his labours, if they be but faithful, be unto God as a sweet savour of Christ, both in them that are saved, and in them that perish.
1 2 Kings ii. 12.
GILBERT & RivINGTON, Printers, St. John's Square, London.
PREACHED AT THE
ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY,
ST. LUKE'S CHURCH, CHELSEA,
ON SUNDAY MORNING, MAY 1, 1836,
Rev. HENRY MELVILL, M.A.
Minister of Camden Chapel, Camberwell; and late Fellow and Tutor of
St. Peter's College, Cambridge.
PRINTED FOR THE SOCIETY,
BY CONPTON AND RITCHIE, MIDDLE STREET, CLOTH FAIR ;
AND TO BE HAD OF J., G., AND F. RIVINGTON, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD, AND WATERLOO PLACE; AND AT THE SOCIETY'S HOUSE, 2,
CHATHAM PLACE, BLACKFRIARS.