« PreviousContinue »
A Treasury of Reference
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE, THE CHURCH, THE
MINISTRY, AND KINDRED SUBJECTS.
GATHERED FROM THE LITERATURE OF ALL TIMES,
AND DISPOSED IN ANALYTICAL ORDER,
REV. E. DAVIES, D.D.,
AUTHOR OF “HOLY THOUGHTS ON HOLY THINGS," ETC.
GRAND AND DIGNIFIED THOUGHTS MUST BE EXPECTED FROM THOSE ALONE
SALISBURY Square, E.C.
The Right Rev. ROBERT BICKERSTETH, D.D.,
LORD BISHOP OF RIPON,
IN ADMIRATION OF
HIS LOVE FOR THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL,
HIS CONSISTENCY AND ZEAL
IN PROMOTING IT.
THERE ARE FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS THAT LIE AT THE BOTTOM, THE BASIS UPON WHICH A GREAT MANY OTHERS REST, AND IN WHICH THEY HAVE THEIR CONSISTENCY. THEY ARE TEEMING TRUTHS, RICH IN STORE, AND, LIKE THE LIGHTS OF HEAVEN, ARE NOT ONLY BEAUTIFUL AND ENTERTAINING IN THEMSELVES, BUT GIVE LIGHT AND EVIDENCE TO OTHER THINGS THAT WITHOUT THEM COULD NOT BE SEEN OR KNOWN.---Locke.
The Christian Life is the highest existence that can be known and enjoyed on earth, inasmuch as it is the life of Christ in the soul of man-man quickened and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Everything, therefore, in connection with it is of transcendent moment. Coleridge says—“The fears, the hopes, the remembrances, the anticipations, the inward and outward experiences, the belief and the faith of a Christian, form of themselves a philosophy and a sum of knowledge which a life spent in the groves of Academus could not have attained or collected." Nor is this all : the Christian Life has direct relationship with the great future. It came from heaven; it returns to heaven; and in heaven it is consummated with Christ.
The Christian Church is the sacred nursery of this life on earth. Herein it is tended, fed, and educated; and herein it rises, expands, and matures, until the Christian character is fashioned, and Christian manhood, in all its symmetry and perfection, is attained, as St. Paul beautifully and strongly expresses it—" Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."
And just as the Church is the nursery of the Christian Life, so the Ministry is the best means whereby this blessed existence is maintained and advanced toward perfection ; for, according to the same Apostle, “Evangelists, pastors, and teachers,” are divinely given “ for the perfecting of the saints, and for the edifying of the body of Christ.”