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and Victim is brought before us. What does it do
but remind us of that great liturgical prayer which



54 PLAIN SUGGESTIONS

Christ made in the upper chamber when He summed
up His lifework and pleaded for the unity of the
Church and for the perfection of its members?
Then follow the confession, absolution, comfortable
words. Here we follow our Lord out from the
upper chamber into Gethsemane's sorrow and agony.
He has wrapped about Him our sins as a garment
from off an outcast leper. As the representative
of the race, He has taken those sins upon Himself.
On our behalf alone, as bearing all the burden, He
kneels and confesses them with tears of blood.
The priest at the altar, as Christ's representative,
likewise kneels, and, even if there should be no
one to communicate with Him, says the great
confession. It is an ever-abiding witness of Geth-
semane's dark sorrow; it is part of the tragic drama
of redemption. Then, as there appeared the angel
strengthening Him, there come the absolution and
the comfortable words. The light breaks in from
heaven. Throughout Christ's life the angels ever
attended Him. They sang the introit to His great
lifelong sacrifice from off the rood-screen of the
skies at Bethlehem. They are with Him at His
Credo in the temptation. They wait beside Him
at His act of penitence in the garden. They abide
in silent adoration about His cross. They minister
at His resurrection and ascension. He came to
gather in one all things which are in heaven and
earth. So in the very central portion of the Liturgy,
amid the agony and betrayal and outward wrong
and inward woe, the Sursum Corda opens the vision



THE MYSTICAL MEANING 55

of heaven, and we are one in our worship with the
angels and saints.

But the drama hastens with a divine impulse of
love to its consummation. Christ, delivered into
the hands of wicked men, goes forth bearing His
cross, and as He goes He falls beneath its weight.
In two places, and two places only, in the Anglican
rite is the celebrant bidden to kneel once as he
says the confession, in union with Christ in the
garden, and again at the prayer of humble access,
in union with Christ as He goes to Calvary.

Then, in the reverent hush that tells that God is
near, the Liturgy proceeds with the canon. First
comes the consecration. In the American rite there
follows the oblation of the holy gifts, called gifts
after the union by the consecration of the inward
and outward parts of the sacrament, called creatures
only before. Then the sacred memorial is offered
to God, the Holy Spirit is invoked, and intercession
is made for the whole Church. The communion
comes next. The offering on Calvary's cross was
for all mankind. We appropriate its work by
faith, and by our communion and reception of
Christ's body and blood are incorporated into it.

And when the dear and precious memorial before
God has been presented and pleaded, and the com-
munions made, the priest is bidden reverently to
place upon the Lord's table what remaineth of the
consecrated elements, covering the same with a fair
linen cloth. It was to protect the sacred elements
that the Reformers added this rubric, so distinctive



56 PLAIN SUGGESTIONS

a feature of our rite. Surely we may plead for its
literal observance, which the use of a small card-
board, according to the Roman rite, does not fulfil.
The symbolical reason for the use of this special
veiling makes the act of loyalty the more dear.
Does it not bring to mind the descent from the cross
and the tender entombment of the body by loving
hands, which wrapped it in linen and bore it to its
burial?

Then follows the fourth and last great division.
It is full of the spirit of the risen and ascended
Christ. As the first two portions of the Liturgy
set forth His prophetical and priestly work, here
He is brought before us as our risen and ascended
King. The Roman mass practically ends with the
priest's communion, and then he consumes the
elements. Is it not something worse than dis-
loyalty for an Anglican priest to imitate this in
the face of our rubric, which enforces the reserva-
tion of the sacrament until after the benediction?
If it was for communion only that the sacrament
was instituted, we might conceive that as soon as
the communions were made the sacrament should
be consumed. But the Prayer-Book orders its
reservation and that the Benediction shall be given
in its presence. Like the apostles, we assemble
about our risen Lord, and are with Him, like them,
in the sacred enclosure of the closed doors. He is
in the midst of us, and we have received Him, and
He is in us and we in Him. We rejoice in Him and
adore Him as our King. We are incorporated into



THE MYSTICAL MEANING 57

His mystical body, and are ready to do all such
good works as He has prepared for us to walk in.
We gather about Him as when the disciples took
their last walk with Him in the glorious sunlight
of His resurrection, and He led them out as far as
Bethany. Not unfittingly our Liturgy reserves the
Gloria in Excelsis for this place. It is the trium-
phantly filled-out response made by the Church
to the angels' song at Bethlehem. We have been
raised up and made to sit in heavenly places. We
gaze not up into a material heaven, but into the
heaven whereof we form a part and wherein we
are one with the apostles, as when they gathered
beneath the benediction of the uplifted hands, and
worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with
great joy.

And then, after the blessing, the priest imme-
diately and reverently consumes the sacred gifts,
and we can but think of the saying: "He was taken
up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight."

Neither disparaging other liturgies nor seeking
to imitate them, we may be humbly thankful for
that which, through all the trials and purifications
of our own communion, God has preserved to us,
and try more fully to enter into its spirit and be
reverent in its celebration.



FOND DU LAC TRACTS



THE CHURCH IN THE NEW
TESTAMENT

WHAT IS THE CHURCH?

A GOOD many earnest Christians are asking
themselves the question: What is the Church?
They know they must have some better reason for
belonging to a religious body than that they were
brought up in it. They keenly feel the inexpedi-
ency of trying to sustain in small towns so many
places of worship, and the expensive burden it
imposes upon the people. They try to meet the
burden, perhaps, by the union meeting-house plan,
but it has not been very successful. Some may
possibly feel the hindrances caused to Christ's work
by these sad divisions. Touched by the Holy
Spirit they ask, on their bended knees, and with
their Bibles in their hands: What does God's Word
say about this matter? They humbly ask for light
to know God's will, and grace and courage to em-
brace it. Make one such utterance to Him, dear
reader, that you may be so guided; for "This,"
says Canon Hammond, "is a pivot question, and
lies at the root of nearly all our schisms and differ-



62 THE CHURCH IN NEW TESTAMENT

ences. Amongst all the questions of the hour it
stands first in importance."
What is the Church?

I. The Scripture record about it is this: The
Gospel was given to man by Christ in the form
The Church is of an Institution. The Gospel Christ
a Kingdom. preached was not an abstract Gospel.
It was not a revelation of truth only. It was not
a rule of life. It was not the giving to us of a
great example. It was not a redemption effected
by Calvary's sacrifice, and a mere proclamation
of pardon to penitent believers, but it was "the
Gospel of the Kingdom." How constantly this is
recorded: "Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching
in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of
the Kingdom." l This is the pure Gospel, the
Gospel that Christ preached. Christianity came
into the world (this is the first great truth), not as
a doctrine, an idea, but as an institution. It was a
Kingdom.

II. Christ's Kingdom, we next observe, was not
a kingdom of this world. 2 It was not like an earthly
A Visible kingdom founded by a son of earth,
Society because Christ was not of this world. 3
spiritually Nevertheless it was a kingdom. And

like other of God's works, it was
double. It had an outward and visible form, and
an inward and invisible spirit. It had the outward
form of a visible society, and an inward life. Its

1 S. Matt. iv. 23. See also S. Matt. ix. 35; xxiv. 14.
1 S. John xviii. 36. * S. John iii. 13.



WHAT IS THE CHURCH? 63

outward form would be the product of human action
and Divine power. It would be both like a "net" x
constructed by human skill, and it would be like
a "tree," 2 the product of Divine power. It would
also have an inward invisible spirit. It would
be a new life-power sown within a man, like a
"seed," 3 or like "leaven" 4 hidden in the measures
of meal. "The Kingdom of God is within you," 5
or "among you." Though visible and having out-
ward form, it would be hidden in the world like
a treasure that must be sought for; 6 and as an
invisible spiritual power to be gained by man, it
was like a pearl of great price, more valuable than
all man's other possessions. 7

III. This visible Society or Kingdom, possessed

of a spiritual power, Christ called His Church. "I

will build," He said, "My church." 8

forTe'db We read) " Christ also loved the

Christ. Church, and gave Himself for it." 9

It was to be a "City set on an hill." 10
A "Temple" u of "lively stones." 12 "The Family" 13
of Jesus Christ. "The household of God." 14 It
was to be a City set on a hill, not only visible, like
a modern city, but like one of the ancient cities,
set on high; a city surrounded by walls, a protected
dwelling-place for human habitation, entrance into
which was only through a guarded gateway. It

1 S. Matt. xiii. 47. S. Matt. xiii. 44. " Eph. ii. 21.

* S. Matt. xiii. 32. 7 S. Matt. xiii. 46. u I Peter ii. 5.

1 S. Mark iv. 26. 8 S. Matt. xvi. 18. u Eph. iii. 15.

4 S. Luke xiii. 21. ' Eph. v. 25. M Eph. ii. 19.

B S. Luke xvii. 21. 10 S. Matt. v. 14.



64 THE CHURCH IN NEW TESTAMENT

was to be a Temple, one in design, purpose, struc-
ture; a unit in itself, yet composed of thousands of
living souls, like stones builded together into one
Temple. It was to be the Family of Jesus Christ,
organically one, 1 because sharers hi His Nature, 2
like brothers and sisters of a human family who are
one as descendants of a common parentage. It
was to be the household of God; for over those
thus gathered into God in Christ, God would be
the abiding Householder and Head. It was to
be like a city, a temple, a family, a visible society
filled with Divine life. 3

IV. To this truth of the double aspect of the
Church, the Holy Ghost speaking by the mouth of
It was so de- S. Paul bears witness. The Church is
dared by the called by him "The Body of Christ." 4
Holy Ghost. Now a numan k O( 3y j s something

visible, material, substantial. The term "body,"
applied to the Church, 5 signifies, therefore, that the
Church is an organized, visible community. The
word "body" which S. Paul so applied "had come
into recent use to describe the guilds of workmen,
the trade unions of the Roman Empire." 6 They
were visible and organized societies. From this
word "corpus," or body, our word corporation
comes. But then the Church is something more
than a legal corporation. It is endowed with a
spiritual life. It may therefore be called a Spiritual

1 Gal. iii. 28; Eph. iv. 5. 4 I Cor. xii. 27.

8 II Peter i. 4. B Col. i. 24.

* Eph. i. 23. Canon Hammond.



WHAT IS THE CHURCH? 65

Body. This does not mean a body which would
be like pure spirit, for this would be nonsense,
and no body at all. The term, "Spiritual Body,"
signifies a real, visible, tangible body like our
Lord's Risen Body, which is called a Spiritual Body.
A Spiritual Body means a real, true body, 1 but one
controlled by the Spirit. And this Body, Holy
Scripture calls the "Church of God," 2 the "Church
of the Living God." 3

V. The Church, then, though possessed of a
latent spiritual power, is a visible society founded
Of this Church b y J esus Christ. Any society which
Christ is the cannot trace its origin to Him as its
Founder. Founder cannot be His 'Church, or

part of His Church. Bodies which have a man for
their founder, like Calvin, 4 or Luther, 5 or Wesley, 6
or Roger Williams, 7 are not the Church of Christ,
nor are their organizations parts of the Church
of Christ. Moreover, Christ founded one Church.
He did not found many churches. He founded only
And there is one> This is a ^ ac t patent on the face
but one of Holy Scripture. As there is one

Church. Lord, one faith, one baptism, so there

is but one Church. 8 The Bride is one. 9 Within
the Church Christians may associate themselves

1 Vide S. Luke xxiv. 39. * I Tim. iii. 15.

2 Acts xx. 28.

4 The founder of a system called Calvinism. A.D. 1509-1564.
6 The founder of Lutheranism. A.D. 1529.

6 The founder of the Methodists. A.D. 1748.

7 The founder of the Baptists. A.D. 1639.

8 Eph. iv. 5. 9 Rev. xxi. 2; see also II Cor. xi. 2; Eph. v. 32.



66 THE CHURCH IN NEW TESTAMENT

together for pious and religious purposes, and Christ
will be in the midst of them, 1 but the association
will not be a Church. The association together of
a number of Christians does not make a Church;
it only makes a congregation. There are within
the one organization of the Christian Church, local
ones, which are in Holy Scripture called the Church
in such a place: the Church of the Thessalonians, 2
the Church at Philippi. 3 But to be part of the one
organization Christ founded, the local one must
be a subordinate organization within the Church,
and not be as the sects are, independent organiza-
tions separate and apart from it. The denomina-
tions, being of late origin, and having men, however
learned and eminent, for their founders, are societies
separated from the original organization founded by
Christ. Their members, as baptized believers, are
Christians, but their organizations are mere congre-
gations, human and man-made societies, and not
the Church or part of the Church, which is the
visible Body founded by Christ and endowed with
invisible and spiritual life.

VI. Now let us consider a further truth. The

Church, then, we have seen, is a society which has

for its Founder 4 and Head 5 the God-

Man ' Jesus Christ> But unlike aU
human founders of religions who have

died and passed away, Jesus Christ has risen from
the dead and ascended, and dwells in the midst of

1 S. Matt, xviii. 19, 20. Phfl. i. i. * Col. i. 18.

* I Thess. i. i. 4 1 Cor. iii. n.



WHAT IS THE CHURCH? 67

His Church. When He ascended He did not go
away to a distant star. He transported His Hu-
manity into the Divine Glory, and a cloud hid Him
from sight. But He remained, though invisible,
surrounded by His Apostles and disciples. 1 He was
in the midst of them the centre of the new
He is the organization, or Church He had begun

source of truth the source of life to the new crea-
and grace. ^j on jj e was forming. He dwells in
the midst of this new creation, which is His Church,
just as Almighty God is present in the natural
creation. Just as God sustains every created thing
in the material universe by His power, so does the
God-Man sustain all the members of the new crea-
tion by His Life. Out from His humanity life and
grace flow to its members through the Sacraments
and means of grace, which He personally, or through
His Apostles, ordained. No Christian can there-
fore rightly, or for his soul's good, neglect Confirma-
tion or the Eucharist or any other means of grace.
If he does, he does two bad things he wrongs
Christ and injures himself. Christ did not leave
any means of grace His followers do not need.

VII. The Church which Christ founded, He, as
its High Priest, Prophet, and King, directs and
He acts administers. He did this primarily by

through His His Apostles, whom He made sharers
Ministers. j n jjj s prophetical, 2 priestly, 3 and rul-
ing powers, 4 and subsequently by others whom the

1 S. Matt, xxviii. 18. 3 S. Luke xxii. 19.

2 S. Matt. x. 7. * S. Matt, xxviii. 20.



68 THE CHURCH IN NEW TESTAMENT

Apostles gathered by prayer and laying on of hands
into fellowship with themselves. 1 In this way
Appointed by they were made partakers in different
Himsejf. degrees in the Apostles' prerogatives

and office, and became ministers of Christ. Unless
persons have been so gathered into the Apostolic
fellowship by the Apostles or the Bishops who now
represent them they are not rightly ordained. 2
They have no share in the Apostolic commission,
they are not authorized ministers of Christ, through
whom, as His agents or representatives, He has
Or those He pledged Himself to act. 3 They may
commissioned be good persons, but they are not His
to appoint. legal ambassadors. Here we note a
difference between the Law and the Gospel. Under
the Law, the Prophets, 4 the Priests, 5 and the Kings, 6
were representatives of Jehovah, the Invisible God.
But the Christian ministry does not represent the
Invisible God. The Christian minister is not an
ambassador from the Court of Heaven. He is an
ambassador of the Incarnate God of God, made
visible, of the Man Christ Jesus. He must there-
fore receive his commission either directly from
Him, as the Apostles did 7 and as S. Paul 8 did to
whom He appeared, or through the Apostles 9 whom
alone He authorized to act in His name, and with
whom He promised to be to the world's end. 10

1 II Tim. 1.6. * Heb. v. 4- Acts vi. 6.

* Acts i. 26. I Sam. xvi. 13. 10 S. Matt, xxviii. 20.

* Gal. i. 7, 8, 19. 7 S. John xx. 22.
4 Heb. i. i. 8 Gal. i. i, 12.



WHAT IS THE CHURCH? 69

VIII. The Church is a visible Society like a city
set on a hill, and the gate through which we enter

By Baptism into [t is Baptism- 1 ^ & * temple
Christ makes of living stones, and we are by Bap-
us members of tism made a part of it. It is the family
of Jesus Christ, and we are made His
when we are taken into it by Baptism. We are
made His members, by being gathered into union
with Him, Who, unseen, is yet in the midst of His
Church. By Baptism the passive infant and the
believing and penitent adult (who thereby puts
himself in the same receptive condition as the little
child) receive a seminal or seed principle of 'new
life. 2 This gift is bestowed by the action of the
Holy Spirit. 3 Our humanity is quickened by con-
tact with the Humanity of Christ. We are made
members of Him, 4 and so become united to one
another 5 this makes all the baptized, brothers
and sisters. Is not this that "generation" 6 which
shall not pass away until all be fulfilled; for it is
written, His "seed" 7 shall be counted as a gener-
ation? Persons not baptized, however they may
profess to take Christ for their example, are not yet
Christians. To be a Christian you must do some-
thing more than trust in Him, or follow Him, or take
Him for your example. 8 You must be a member
of Jesus Christ; and Baptism is the only way of

1 S. John iii. 3-5. 6 1 Cor. xii. 12, 27; S. Matt, xxiii. 8.

2 1 S. Peter i. 23. 6 S. Luke xxi. 32.

3 Acts xix. 3-5; Titus iii. 5. 7 Psalm xxii. 30.

4 1 Cor. vi. 15. 8 Gal. iii. 27; S. John xiv. 15.



7 o THE CHURCH IN NEW TESTAMENT

becoming a member of Him. To be a member
means you must be a part of Him, as really as the
hand is part of the body.

IX. Now let us consider the difference between
Baptism and Conversion. The Church requires
The Baptismal both - The Church is known in Holy
gift must be Scripture as a society of the " elect," l or
corresponded those "called." 2 The Greek word for
Church (ecclesia) means the called. We
are called by Holy Baptism. By it also the seed of
the Christ-life is implanted within us, but without
our co-operation it lies dormant. It becomes active
at our conversion. Then the soul becomes conscious
of its regenerate condition. For in the spiritual, as
in the natural order, life precedes consciousness.
The gift comes before the knowledge of it. So the
regenerating gift in Holy Baptism is one thing, and
conversion is another. Both are equally necessary.
Our Lord says: "Except a man be born of water
and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom
of God." 3 And with equal emphasis He declares,
"Except ye be converted, and become as little
children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of
Heaven." 4 Consequently, if baptized in infancy,
you must be converted subsequently. 5 If, as an
adult you have been converted, you must subse-
quently be baptized. 6 But conversion may be a

I Col. iii. 12; I Pet. v. 13. S. John iii. 5.

I 1 Cor. i. 26; II Tim. i. 9. * S. Matt, xviii. 3.

1 Acts viii. 13. Simon Magus, an example of adult Baptism
before Conversion.

' Acts ix. 17, 18. S. Paul, an example of Baptism after Conversion.



WHAT IS THE CHURCH? 71

longer or a shorter process gradual or instan-
taneous calm or convulsed. If baptized in in-
fancy, by your conversion you will come to realize
your regenerate condition. If, as an adult you have
been converted before Baptism, you will by your
conversion realize indeed Christ's marvellous mercy
in accepting you; but when baptized you will
realize that you are by a new Divine gift united
to Him also. Note, you were God's child by your
birth and creation. 1 "We are His offspring."
Though deserving of punishment as "children of
wrath," we are nevertheless by the act of creation
His children. Baptism does not proclaim that fact.
It is not like the coronation of a king, who is a king
by descent and before he is crowned. By creation
we are all God's children, 2 but by Baptism we
become God's children 3 by adoption and grace.
We become by Baptism members of the God-Man,
Jesus Christ, who is the Second Adam and the
Head of the new Creation.

X. It is often objected that Christians are incon-
sistent. Their faults are fruitful topics for unbe-
The Church is ^ evers - Persons say that they do
therefore an not see that Baptism does any good,
educational Truly the "seed" sown in Baptism

iety ' will perish if it is not properly cared for.

So the next truth we want to keep in mind is, that
the Church into which by Baptism we are called,
is an educational society. It is a society wherein

1 Mai. ii. 10. * Gal. iii. 27; vide Isa. ix. 6, 7.

1 Acts xvii. 28.



72 THE CHURCH IN NEW TESTAMENT

by Baptism the imperfect, though converted, are
gathered for their spiritual training and develop-
ment. But it is a school wherein many by neglect
of the means of grace fail of attaining their end.
Thus we learn this other truth about the Church.
The Church has within her the tares and the wheat, 1
With bad and the wise and the foolish virgins, 2 the
good in it. bad and the good fish. 3 It is no re-
proach to her that this is so, for her mission is an
educational one. She has her glorious martyrs,
confessors, saints, her Religious Orders and her
class of perfection. But still many walk carelessly.
Some are like the Pharisees. 4 Some are worldly
Herodians. 5 Many are called by Baptism, but few
chosen. 6 Only those who persevere unto the end
will be saved. 7 Are you, dear reader, if a Church-
man, earnestly striving after a closer walk with
God? Do you mortify your body, 8 discipline your
soul, 9 give freely of your substance, 10 examine your
conscience daily, 11 love your enemies? 12 Are you
striving after perfection and using all the means of
grace the Church offers you? Are the interests of
Jesus and His Church your dominant ones, and do
you love Him with all your heart? If you are a
Christian, let reform begin with yourself. 13 When
Gideon set out to deliver Israel from idolatry, first
of all went down the idols in his father's house. 14

1 S. Matt. xiii. 24, 25. S. Matt. xx. 16. " II Cor. xiii. 5.

1 S. Matt. xxv. i. 7 S. Matt. x. 22. u S. Matt. v. 44.

1 S. Matt. xiii. 47. I Cor. ix. 27. S. Luke xv. 18.

4 S. Matt. xxii. 15. * S. Luke xxi. 19. 14 Judges vi. 25-27.

6 S. Matt. xxii. 16. 10 Acts xx. 35.



WHAT IS THE CHURCH? 73

If you are not a Churchman, judge not of the Church
by the lives of the careless and indifferent, but by
the lives of the best. That consideration converted
a great French infidel, and may convert you.

XI. The Church is thus a visible society, an
educational society, and it is something more, it
The Church * s a Divine organization; we say this,
is a spiritual for it has Christ the God-Man for its
organism. founder. And it is something more
than an organization even; it is an organism. You
know the difference. An organization man may



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