《老彩民论坛软件》 Simply to Thy cross I cling.”
1. The words themselves prove that they are figurative. Turn to 1 Cor. xi. 25, where we read: “This cup is the new testament in my blood.” Is there any one blind enough to suppose that the cup was changed into the new testament? The words must mean that the cup was an emblem of the covenant. When our Lord said, “I am the vine,” “I am the door,” “I am the bread of life,” He did not mean that He was changed into a vine, into a door, or into bread, but that all these things were emblems of His work. So He says of the cup, that it is an emblem of the covenant; and if we would be consistent interpreters, we must believe also of the bread that it was declared to be an emblem of the body.
We see, then, that the ministry of reconciliation is neither by sacrifice, nor by priestly forgiveness; but we have still to consider by what means the great work is carried on.
p. 64It is clear at a glance, that there is no allusion in either of these passages to general or habitual confession; and that the case contemplated is that of a person troubled by some particular sin weighing on the conscience, and keeping the soul from peace. It is just in such a case that the ministry of the word is required for the help of the individual; and that something more is wanted than the general preaching of the truth. Such a person requires the Gospel to be applied to his own particular anxiety, in order that he may be assured of God’s forgiveness of that particular sin which keeps his soul in trouble. It is this assurance which is called in the Prayer-book “absolution.” There is a vast difference between a judicial act of forgiveness, and a declaration or assurance of the forgiveness by God. Thus, to “absolve” is not to “forgive,” but to assure the troubled heart of the full forgiveness, freely granted, by the Lord Himself.  Nothing can be clearer than this distinction in the absolution in the service for the Visitation of the Sick. “Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to His Church to absolve all sinners who truly p. 65repent and believe in Him, of His great mercy forgive thee thine offences: and by His authority, committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
p. 11The wafer, therefore, or the piece of bread, is here said to be after consecration nothing less than a real, living Saviour, with body, soul, and divinity, to be worshipped with that holy, reverential worship which belongs exclusively to the God of heaven and earth, for that is the meaning of the word Latreia. There is something very awful in such a statement. It shows that there can be no peace with Rome—no compromise, no middle path. If they are right, we are awfully wrong. If we are right, they are guilty of idolatry. If all these pieces of bread are living Saviours, we have been terribly guilty in never worshipping any one of them; but if, on the other hand, they have remained bread still—plain, simple, unchanged bread—then we have idolatry of the most unquestionable character when that bread is exalted by the priest for adoration, and men fall down and worship it as the living God.
Again: it is not the office of the minister to forgive sins. If our Lord, in His words of John xx. 23, had really connected such a power with the ministry of reconciliation, it is most extraordinary that in all the many portions of the New Testament which relate to the ministry there is no allusion to it. There are three whole Epistles directed exclusively to the chief pastors of the Church, besides several addresses to presbyters both in the Acts and Epistles; and is it not a most remarkable fact, that there is not a single allusion in any one of these passages or epistles to the forgiveness of sins, as forming a portion of the ministry of reconciliation? There are full directions respecting preaching, praying, reproving, instructing, and behaviour to all the different classes of the flock, but of forgiveness of sin by the minister, not one word can you find anywhere; and yet forgiveness itself is the great subject of the p. 58whole New Testament. But it is always traced at once, without any intermediate mediation, to the Lord Himself. It is always ascribed to His blood, His redemption, and His grace, and is never once connected in any way with any power of forgiveness bestowed by a priest. I am not now dwelling on any one particular passage, but rather on the omission of the whole subject from the word of God; and I cannot but think that that omission is a proof, beyond contradiction, that the Apostles, writing by inspiration, did not understand our Lord as teaching in these words that the forgiveness of sin by a priest formed any part of the ministry of reconciliation.
Sometimes it will be necessary to apply it to individuals, when the conscience is troubled by the conviction of sin. Our Church alludes to this in two passages often referred to. The first is from the close of the invitation to the Lord’s Supper,—“And because it is requisite that no man should come to the Holy Communion but with a full trust in God’s mercy, and with a quiet conscience; therefore, if there be any of you, who by this means cannot quiet his own conscience herein, but requireth further counsel or comfort, let him come to me, or to some other discreet and learned minister of God’s word, and open his grief: that by the ministry of God’s holy word he may receive the benefit of absolution, together with ghostly counsel and advice, to the quieting of his conscience, and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness.”
In every work carried on by man we are perfectly certain to meet with human infirmity, and human error; and the work of the ministry forms no exception to the rule. It is carried on by common men, with common flesh and blood, exposed to the common temptations of common life, so that we are sure to find in it the common failures of our common humanity. Yet, with all this, it fills a most important place in the life of all of us. It not only imparts a distinctive character to our public worship, but it reaches our home life; so that there is not a family in a parish that is not, in some way or other, more or less affected by the ministry in p. 47the Church. The influence may not always be for good, but it always exists. In some cases it may be simply negative, and actually do harm by not doing good. In some cases it may be positively mischievous, as when it is made the means for the dissemination of deadly error. While in many it is made God’s means for conferring incalculable blessings; so that through it the young are instructed, the careless awakened, inquirers directed to the Lord Jesus Christ, and the children of God confirmed in faith and aroused to holy energy for their Lord. The position of a clergyman is such that the influence of his ministry is sure to be felt throughout his parish. He has the sacred privilege of leading the worship of the religious portion of his people. They are all brought into contact with his office, and all are, some way or other, affected by the manner in which that office is fulfilled.公务员考试中的事业单位与 持续性经常性 港国安法具体内容 什么猫不是宠物猫 黄金外汇原油分析老师 新型冠状病毒感染的肺炎怎么形成的 本月股票回购 有垃圾分类专业吗 中国的疫情是不是过去了 疫情检测成阴性 斗罗大陆的相思