« ZurückWeiter »
COVENTRY DISTRICT COMMITTEE
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE,
WHO ATTENDED THE ANNUAL MEETING ON THE 19TH OF JUNE,
THE FOLLOWING SERMON,
HONOURED BY THEIR APPROBATION,
PUBLISHED AT THEIR REQUEST.
Although the doctrine and discipline of the Church will not actually save a man, yet they are absolutely necessary to preserve those doctrines that will. A hedge round a vineyard is, of itself, a poor paltry thing, but break it down, and all they that go by will pluck off its grapes. And co sin has been punished with heavier punishment for that reason, than the throwing down fences and making it indifferent whether a christian be of any Church or none, so that he be but a christian, and have the birth of the inspoken word. But if Christ left a Church upon earth, and ordered submission to the appointed governors of it, so far as a man resists or undervalues the ordinance of Christ, so far be acts not as a christian, let his inward light be what it will.
Matthew xxvIII. 19, 20. “ Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, bap
tizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you : and, lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”
That this commission was intended not merely for the eleven Apostles to whom our Saviour immediately addressed himself, but for them and their successors, the members of that corporate body, that apostolical or episcopal college, which he thus established, even unto the end of the world,—is a fact so universally admitted by episcopalians, that it will be needless to discuss it when addressing members of the Church of
But our text does not merely record the clerical commission, it also contains a direction as to the manner in which that commission is to be executed ; and, consequently, as such, it interests the laity as well as the clergy; since the laity though not authorised to minister in sacred things, are in duty bound to be assistant to the clergy in endeavouring to render their ministrations efficacious.
In the first place, then, we are commanded to do—what? our English version says, to teach all nations : but by “ teaching,” in the first part of the sentence something different is meant from what is implied by “ teaching.” in the conclusion of it. In the original the same word is not used in the two places; the sentence might be rendered thus : Go ye, therefore, and disciple or make disciples of, or convert—whom? not merely individuals but nations, whole communities, consisting of men, women, and children : disciple or convert them-how? even by administering to them the sacrament of regeneration. This done, then teach them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you to do; having thus given them a title to, then instruct them in the conditions of eternal life. And lo! I am with you always, while thus acting, even unto the end of the world. (A)
The direction, then is this,--that we are to receive whole nations into covenant with God;