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ORIGIN OP IMAGES, OUTWARD SIGNS, CEREMONIES, &c., IN
THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Calfhill, a Protestant Divine, who was to have succeeded Sandys in the see of Worcester, but died before he was consecrated, in 1570, has some good remarks on this subject, well worthy the attention of our readers, as referring not only to an important branch of the Popish controversy, (so unexpectedly revived in our day,) but to the notions and practices of that Papalizing party which is changing the character of the Anglican Church, by raising into an authoritative standard what the very best of its founders acknowledged to be defects, and deplored as grievances, and which they would have prevented, had they possessed the power. The observations are valuable, too, as showing the importance which our Reformers attached to the Scriptures, as the only standard of faith and practice, and the necessity of adhering to it. They show, too, that the Fathers, though good men, were sometimes mistaken, even on important points, and cannot be taken, except with carefully-observed limitations, even as a subsidiary rule. “At the first, images among Christians were only kept in private houses, painted or graven in story-wise ; which had some meaning and signification in them. Afterwards they crept into the church by a zeal not according to knowledge, as by Pirulinus, at Nola: (about A.D. 400, in Jerome's time :) yet nothing less was meant than worship to them. So that at the first they seemed to be in some respects tolerable, as means to excite men to thankfulness and devotion ; until the devil showed himself in his likeness, and turned the glory of the immortal God to the service of a vile and earthly creature. Yet, even if we had not seen that effect follow, which indeed we have, too
sation, the fact is a plain one. Let Gervasius go on in the way he seems to have chosen of thoughtful religious study: milk will no longer suit him. Let him only take care that his strong meat is sound meat, and that his digestion is healthy, and he will find even more pleasure and profit than he anticipates, and we believe he anticipates much. We wish there were more such. On such studies God's blessing may be sought, and if sought through Christ, shall be given certainly and largely.
lamentably, to the desperate destruction of many Christian souls; we might, notwithstanding, justly condemn the whole faithless and fond invention. For it was but a will-worship, a naughty service, having no ground of the word of God, and only sprung of error and gentility. For, according to the commandment of the Almighty, every man must not do whatever seemeth right in his own eyes. Whatsoever God hath commanded us, we must take heed to it, neither adding anything unto it, nor taking anything away from it.'”. “Wherefore, sith the Scriptures have taught, and Fathers confirmed, that only God is sufficient Schoolmaster, and his word prescribeth us one certain order, each man is to be instructed in truth by preaching. What for should we run to dumb doctors, which take out nothing else but lessons of lies?” Again :-" That ceremonies were of old received into the church, and among the rest the sign of the cross, I deny not; I do confess. When men were newly converted from Paganism, and each man was hot in his profession, the Christian would not only with his heart-belief and tongueprofession show what he was, but also, in despite of his Master's enemies, declare by some outward sign, and by crossing of himself testify to the world that he was not ashamed of Christ crucified. Whereupon the Fathers, out of zeal and devotion, admitted (almost in all things) this sign of the cross; received it into God his service as a laudable ceremony, and wished all men to use it. Yet can it not be denied that some were too superstitious in this case, ascribing more to the outward sign than to the virtue signified; and so they made, of a well-meaning custom, a magical enchantment. Nor did only the simple in this case abuse themselves, but also such as had more learning than the rest, and ought to have been good schoolmasters to others, yet taught them superstitious and unsound doctrine.”—Calfhill's “ Answer to Martiall on the Sign of the Cross.”'
ANECDOTE OF KING (AFTERWARDS SAINT) OLAF.
HIS VENERATION FOR THE SABBATH. It happened one Sunday that the King sat in his high seat at the dinner-table, and had fallen into such deep thought,
that he did not observe how time went. In one hand he had a knife, and in the other a piece of fir-wood, from which he cut splinters from time to time. The table-servant stood before him with a bowl in his hands; and seeing what the King was about, and that he was involved in thought, said, “ It is Monday, Sire, to-morrow.” The King looked at him when he said this, and then it came into his mind what he was doing on the Sunday. Then the King ordered a lighted candle to be brought him, swept together all the shavings he had made, set them on fire, and let them burn upon his naked head: showing that he would hold fast by God's law and commandment, and not trespass without punishment on what he knew to be right.-Laing's Chronicles of the Kings of Norway, vol. ii., p. 298.
ANECDOTE OF PATRICK LAING, A PIOUS, PERSECUTED scotch MINISTER, ABOUT 1680. One of the last attempts made by Lag to get hold of him was when he was one day quietly angling in the silvery stream of the Yochan. He saw at some distance three men slowly advancing up the river, apparently occupied as he was. He began, however, to entertain suspicions of their design, and thought it best to consult his safety in due time. In order, therefore, to test their purpose, while at the same time he would gain some advantage by the movement, he withdrew from the stream, and ascended with all haste the brow of the mountain. No sooner was this perceived by the men, than they commenced a vigorous pursuit, and by this means fairly revealed their purpose. The tract along which he fled was a steep ridge, having on either side a streamlet purling far below. The three pursuers separated; one ascended the ridge behind him, and the other two took each a parallel rivulet, so that unless he should get out to the high lands before all the three, it would be impossible for him to escape. His strength was now fast failing, and his pursuers were gaining ground at every step, and the hope of getting away from them became every moment more faint. In his perplexity he discovered before him a hollow space of spratty ground, in which he resolved to hide himself, and abide the will of Providence. When he reached the place, he plunged to the waist in mud; and in all probability the miry slough would have become his grave, if he had not promptly extricated himself. As he was struggling to free himself from the sinking ground, he observed on one side a place scooped out by the little brook beneath the bank, into which he crept from the view of the men, who were just at hand. When they came to the place, they had no suspicion that the object of their pursuit was hiding below the vaulted turf, and they passed on with all haste in quest of him. He remained in his concealment till the day passed away, and in the dusk of the evening he returned. His deliverance was unexpected; but He in whom he trusted protected him, and heard his prayer in the day of his distress.--Select Extracts for the Young.
DYING SAYINGS OF EMINENT SCOTCHMEN.
John Welsh.—This eminent sufferer in the cause of Christ, although he died in exile, was yet so overwhelmed and transported upon his death-bed with a sense of the divine presence and favour, that he was overheard exclaiming, “O Lord, hold thy hand, it is enough; thy servant is a clay vessel, and can hold no more!”.
Robert Bruce.—When Robert Bruce, as much worn out by persecution as by old age, was under his last illness, he said to his friends, on their inquiring how matters stood between God and his soul, “ When I was young, I was diligent, and lived by faith in the Son of God; but now I am old, and am not able to do so much, yet he condescends to feed me with lumps of sense.” On the morning of his departure, having eaten an egg at breakfast, he said to his daughters, “I think I am yet hungry: ye may bring me another egg." After a few moments of meditation, however, he suddenly exclaimed, “ Hold, daughter, my Master calls me!” Finding his sight rapidly failing, he ordered his family Bible to be brought, and said, “Cast up to me the 8th chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, and set my finger on these words, 'I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height,
nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'” “Now," he added, “is my finger upon them?” On their telling him that it was, he said, “Now, God be with you, my children: I have breakfasted with you, and shall sup with my Lord Jesus Christ this night.”
Robert CUNNINGHAM.—Among other quaint but pious and cheering expressions upon his death-bed, Cunningham said, “I see Christ standing over Death's head, saying, Deal warily with my servant: loose thou this pin, then that pin ; for his tabernacle must be set up again.””
James Durham.— When this eminent theologian and eloquent Divine was dying, at the premature age of thirty-six, he was observed to be troubled on his death-bed with darkness and despondency. On this subject he thus addressed a Christian friend beside him: “For all that I have preached or written, there is but one scripture I can remember, or dare gripe unto; tell me if I dare lay the weight of my salvation upon it: · Whosoever cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.'” “You may depend upon that," replied the other, “though you had a thousand salvations at hazard."
SAMUEL RUTHERFORD.— Although he was known to be dying, the Parliament summoned him to appear before them at Edinburgh, to answer to the charge of high treason ; for so his fidelity to the cause of Christ was termed. The messengers found him in bed. “Tell them," he said, “I have got a summons already before a superior Judge and judicatory : it behoves me to answer my first summons; and ere your day come, I will be where few Kings and great folks come.”
Hugh Mackail.---This martyr was cruelly tortured previous to execution. When his leg was crushed in the boot, he astonished the by-standers with these triumphant exclamations: “Farewell, sun, moon, and stars !. -farewell, world and time! -farewell, weak and frail body! Welcome, eternity! welcome, angels and saints!--welcome, Saviour of the world! welcome, God, the Judge of all!”
Donald Cargill.—On the scaffold, while ascending the ladder, he said, “The Lord knows I go on this ladder with less fear and perturbation of mind than ever I entered the