Tracts for the Times
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: It may seem strange that our Lord should deem it necessary to guard His Disciples against such a notion as that they had chosen Him, rather than He them: called as they had been, when they least expected it, from their daily employments of fishermen, publicans, and the like. But for our sakes, no doubt, this is written; to check an error which Christ foresaw would too generally prevail in His Church, especially in these latter days, which pride themselves so much on light and liberty. The error I mean is, that of imagining that Church communion is a voluntary thing, which people may adopt or no, (I will not say at their own pleasure, though too many go as far as that, but) a they seem to find it for the time most edifying. Another kindred notion is, that the Christian ministry is also a voluntary thing; that there is no real difference between clergy and laity, any more than is enacted by the law of the land for mere decency and order's sake; but that otherwise a man who can and will do good as a clergyman is to all intents and purposes clergyman enough. These are not very uncommon notions. But take them at their best, and are they in effect any better than as if St. Paul and the other Apostles had considered themselves as choosing Christ instead of being chosen by Christ ? He who reasons so, is he not chargeable with setting up his own calculation against the declared will and system of our Lord? Hear now on the other hand the very doctrine of the Church Apostolical. Jesus Christ, the chief Shepherd and Bishop, commits the pastoral office to whom He pleases; in the first place, to His Apostles, and after them, to all whom they, by the help of His ordinary grace, shall appoint; which latter proposition you have justheardclearlymadeout fromthe ordination of St. Matthias....
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