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(Isai. xxxii. 2) and may "the glorious Lord ever be to us as a place of broad rivers and streams" (Isai. xxxiii. 21). "Then shall the lame leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert" (Isai. xxxv. 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10). Perhaps this holy book may be the jubilee trumpet, and if so, do you sound it; for I am of opinion another fifty years will not pass before "He that is to come will come : at any rate it is the gospel trumpet, and let every man blow it.
The Christian reader of this sacred volume will, I am sure, by contrasting its mild and equitable contents with the cruel, vexatious, and expensive ecclesiastic laws of the Roman and English churches, be struck with their vast superiority. Their equity, charity, humility, and love and mercy (particularly to the backslider) are very conspicuous features, and claim for them the universal adoption of suffering, persecuted humanity; at the same time it will be observed they (whilst visiting our sin with its merited punishment in all its stages) are perfectly free from that domineering, party, persecuting, and conceited spirit, so conspicuous in some, if not all the churches in Christendom: and the more you become acquainted with their genius, the more will you admire and love their precepts. True, it has its peculiarities; but these have only become so by reason of the departure of the Romish church, centuries ago, from the simplicity of the truth; and the same may be said of the English church, which has descended from that church. The leaven of reform has done much, and God be praised for it; but not being carried out to a sufficient extent, it has not worked the reformation the bible and the church of God requires. But be it remarked, those peculiarities, all, or nearly all, find authority in our scriptures; and therefore must not be made a cause for rejecting the whole-that would be folly in the extreme. Reject these laws, and you have nothing left so wise, so just, so pure, so holy, so beneficent, to fall back upon. And be it observed, by adopting these Constitutions you remove a great stumbling-block, which universally presents itself in all the Christian theories to the conversion of our Jewish brethren to the Christian faith; for he may fairly and does justly argue: "These men cannot be of God, because they keep not his commandments." I more particularly allude to the fourth, which expressly says "The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God," and Exod. xxxi. 13-" Speak thou unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your genera
And again: "Ye shall fear every man his mother and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God." And does not the prophet Nehemiah say (xiii. 18): "What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day! Did not your fathers thus ? and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? Yet ye bring upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.' And God says by the prophet Ezekiel (xx. 12, 13): "Moreover, also, I gave them my sabbath, to be a sign between me and them; that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness, they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments; which if a man do he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted, then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness to consume them." And Isaiah says: "Blessed is the man that doth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil" (Isai. xlvi. 3). And, again, the Lord saith: "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing (or taking) thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord honourable, and shalt honour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words, then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it" (Isai. lviii. 13, 14). To conclude, let me remind my Christian brethren of what the Lord said by his prophet Samuel (I. xv. 22-23): "And Samuel said to Saul, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams; for rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king."
It may be argued by ignorant men, that the observance of the first day of the week is all that Christ requires of us; the observance of the ancient Jewish Sabbath being peculiar to and belonging exclusively to the Jewish or Mosaic dispensation. But that such is not the case, let my christian brother only turn to Matthew xxiii. 1, 2: "Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat; all, therefore,
whatsoever they bid you observe, observe and do." This, therefore, forms the union link between the Mosaic and the Christian dispensation. See also Math. v. 17: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil; for verily I say unto you, Till
heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
The Council of Laodicea (that lukewarm church of whom Christ said, I will spue thee out of my mouth"-Rev. iii. 16) it was that first ordered Christians not to rest from their ordinary employments on the sabbath day, but to prefer the Lord's day; and this was the origin of the unscriptural practice of all Christian denominations at the present day. Till this day strong delusions have obtained, and a veil has been spread over the face of all Christian nations, so that they have not been able to see the most obvious truths in these matters. See 2 Thess. ii. 1-12, and Isai. lxvi. 3, 4.
When this volume has been read and digested, it is proposed to call a meeting of the pious of all denominations, desirous of making head against the church of Rome and of putting an end to all schisms and divisions in the church of Christ by carrying out its directions, by forming a new church on the principles contained in these Constitutions. To such a measure my Christian friends must make up their minds to expect considerable opposition from the self-created dignitaries in the corrupt church of Rome, nor less perhaps from those in our own church, and even from the ministers of the dissenting denominations; but be it remembered these men are all more or less interested in keeping things as they are-many of them are earning by the Gospel their £500 to £1,000, and some £10,000, £20,000, and £40,000 a-year. But this state of things will do no longer. They have all had their day. They have excited the cupidity of the Pope and his cardinals, who have been striving to produce uniformity by the most unscriptural, not to say murderous means; but they have failed in that object, and instead thereof they have rended Christ's body into many sections, all inimical to each other, and instead of loving each other they are all ready to bite and destroy each other, wielding the carnal sword instead of "the spiritual sword, which is the word of God." Brethren, hasten to give the utmost
publicity to these divine laws, and so hasten the period so long and so often prayed for: "Thy kingdom come, that this thy will may be done on earth, as it is in heaven." Amen. So come Lord Jesus; "for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory." Amen.
The character of the seven churches are described with all their imperfections (Rev. ii. and iii.); and the true church of Jerusalem is also well delineated in the last verse of Rev. xii. : "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed (the church), which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." And again (Rev. xiv. 12): "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
In reading the Scriptures of the New Testament, I have always considered them deficient in rules and regulations for the government of the Church: hence some Dissenters have a book of rules, drawn up by themselves, for their own guidance. But when we consider how necessary such rules are, and how minute God was in giving laws to Moses for the government of his people Israel, we cannot help being struck with surprise that Christ, the Shepherd and Bishop of his Church, should have left them without some such particular rules for the guidance of his people; and these constitutions so exactly make up that deficiency, that I wonder they were not long since brought out of their obscurity, and added to the sacred Scriptures, as they really ought to be. Nothing but private self-interest in the high places of the Church can account for this lamentable circumstance. Let the pastors hear what the Lord says of his shepherds by the prophet Isaiah (lvi. 10-12)
-"His watchmen are blind; they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain from his quarter. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to-morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant." And again he saith (Isa. xxviii. 7)—" But they have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way: the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink, they err in vision, they stumble in judgment." This is lamentably the case in the Church of England: hence Puseyism
and returns to the Church of Rome. The tithes were originally given to the clergy for their maintenance, for the repairs of the church, and also for the support of the poor; but the clergy have greedily seized upon the whole of the tithes to maintain themselves and their families in worldly grandeur; and then they get themselves a seat in Parliament, and make laws for supporting the poor out of a separate rate-levied, too, upon the already-tithed land and dwellings-and also other laws for the maintenance of divine worship, and building and repairing their churches. This comes of allowing your Bishops to sit in the legislative assemblies, where they are ever watchful over their own temporal interests, but careless, dumb dogs when the interests of their poor flocks are concerned. They have sat there, and let the Roman wolves come and devour their flocks; but the tables are turning now, and if Archbishop Usher is right in his predictions, their day of retribution is at hand. "Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled, and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! When thou shalt cease to spoil thou shalt be spoiled, and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously they shall deal treacherously with thee" (Isa. xxxiii. 1). The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people and the princes thereof, for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses" (Isa. iii. 14, 15). "What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord God of Hosts.' Again (Isa. x. 1, 2)-"Woe to them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed to turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people" (a third of the tithes), "that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless. And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? To whom will ye flee for help? And where will you leave your glory? Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain."
I shall now proceed to direct your attention to that apostate Church, the Church of Rome. Saint John says" There came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters; with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.