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Lyman Abbott.

Christ is coming! : Part I. Evidences of the existence of God, and of the truth of the holy scriptures. Parts II & III. The holy scriptures and their description of the mighty plan of God. Parts IV & online

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Online LibraryLyman AbbottChrist is coming! : Part I. Evidences of the existence of God, and of the truth of the holy scriptures. Parts II & III. The holy scriptures and their description of the mighty plan of God. Parts IV & → online text (page 18 of 19)
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very zealous, and to spread the good tidings of the Gospel in
every nation, convincing them of its tnith, that all mankind
may become his followers, and enter heaven, where he is. A
lukewarm church, in the sight of God, is a failure in that it
fails to bring the nations to the feet of Jesus ; it fails to con-
vince the nations of the truth of the good tidings of the
Messiah ; she idly locks the treasure within her bosom, from
sheer want of love towards Christ and towards mankind — the
good tidings she only weakly believes, and therefore she only
weakly acts ; she is only lightly prized in heaven, for she lacka



236 MISSIONS.

the one thing needful, zealous faith. Be ye not thus unworthy,
but throw all the united strength of your strong zeal first upon
the people of your own nation, strive your uttermost to make
plain to them the mighty plan of God ; let that plan be to you
as an alphabet, the groundwork of aU spiritual knowledge, then
they will clearly understand the mission of Christ from heaven
to earth, and being convinced they wiU become an upright
people ; then will their uprightness be as a shining light before
your missionaries abroad, and great wiU be their success among
the nations — take special heed and be not like those bewilderers
— the spurious clerics who preach bewildering nonsense to their
flocks, year after year, teaching them nothing; but teach
frequently the mighty plan of God, until like their own alphabet
they have thoroughly mastered it, then will the Holy Scriptures
be ever afterwards to them a mine of great spiritual wealth
and a great comfort.

The archbishops shall lay aside a portion of the church funds
for foreign missionary purposes ; they shall appoint the mission-
aries, and uphold effectively at home a foreign missionary insti-
tution, that foreign missionary efforts may be thoroughly
assisted.

Ye shall not caU yourselves Protestants, but Christians, for
your priesthood comes not out of the Papacy, nor do you protest
against the Papacy, for she is not a Christian church but a
spurious church, being only part Christian, a greater part idola-
trous, and a greater part still unscriptviral ; therefore the true
church does not protest against her, nor against the church of
Mahomet, but ignores the Papacy altogether as a Christian
church; ignoring also the other spurious churches, by whatever
name they are caUed.

It shall be the great aim of the church in every nation to
habituate every one of her members to perfect uprightness, iu



MISSIONS. 237

the sight of God and in the sight of man, causing them always
to cherish in their minds that each is a member of the whole
holy family of God upon earth — each assisting the other in all
good things to the uttermost.

Behold, ye women, faithful followers of the Lord Christ,
into thy hands God gives thy sex, to teach them His Word, and
to teach and love them as thy sisters, and to teach them to love
and cherish each other as children of the most High God. The
Messiah, thy King, desires that thou shouldest win all thy sex to
God, for behold the time has now come when throughout the
world female man shall no longer be oppressed. Thy gentleness
employ usefully and largely, for behold thy sex also have become
spiritual soldiers of the King Christ, and do thou thy part
•weU and perseveringly.

The spiritual teachers, male and female, shall not be
ignorant of the art of the physician, and certain women shall be
instructed in midwifery, that they may minister to the simple
bodily ailments of the people; the males ministering to the males,
the women to those of their own sex. Neither shall they be
ignorant of the just law of equity, that they may rightly arbi-
trate in the disputes of their people. Neither the spiritual
teachers, nor the sisterhoods, shall take any reward from man-
kind ; but for love towards God and towards mankind, they shaU
do their uttermost. And some shall not be ignorant of the
musician's art, that, upon an instrument of miiaic, the most
skilful may fitly lead the congregation.



The active women of the church shall also occupy themselves
in educating the young females of the nation, in tending the
sick, reading to the sick and aged, looking after the welfare of
their sex, and in worshipping God and His glorious Son, It



238 MISSIONS.

shall be accounted very dishonourable for any female of the
church to be idle when in sound health, or to do aught that is
dishonourable to her sex. The married shall tend their little
ones thoroughly, but their little ones shall not engross all their
thoughts, to the exclusion of God, They shall teach their
little ones how to pray, and the unmarried shall assist mothers
in their duties, that the mothers may not be as slaves, for it is
lionourable for the laity both to be married and to be chaste.
It is dishonourable in the sight of God for a member of the true
church to marry one who is not a member, for it shows a
backward step.



Let there be temporary retreats for the distressed in mind,
for widows, and for the aged, that their thoughts may be
spiritually homeward, loving and honouring them as members
of the family of God. But the young and the strong must be
active and zealous soldiers of their King, the Lord Christ;
battling resolutely against wickedness in every form ; battling
against their own individual temptations, and the evil ways of
the evil-disposed ; convincing them by precept and by example
to do good and to abhor all that is evil. For idleness, when
there is so much spiritual work ready to their hand, is a great
crime in the sight of God. Their active service is honourable,
but idleness is dishonourable.

There shall be established hospitals and dispensaries in
common for the members of the church and for those not of
the church.

From among the widows in the church there shall be
selected holy, capable women, by the oldest female rector in
every vicarage, to act as midwives to the people, whether of the
chvirch cr not of the church ; they shall be taught thoroughly



MisbiOj^s. 239

their art, and they shall have the assistanoe, when necessary, of
a female medical practitioner. Houses wherein they shall be
lodged and maintained shall be provided for them, and for each
there shall be appointed two rooms, plainly and comfortably
furnished, and a skilful female medical practitioner of mature
age shall be over each house, in unison with a female cleric.
The sisterhood of midwives shall be habited in dark brown
robes, with the ensign of the church embroidered on the
breast.

Let there be also a house in every vicarage, for the resi-
dence together, in bonds of holy love, of a limited number of
unmarried and widowed holy women, to be employed, some in
tending as nurses the sick in the vicarage district, both male
and female, who are dangerously ill, and as Scripture readers to
the sick. This sisterhood of holy nurses shall be habited in
robes of a light brown colour, having embroidered on the breast
thereof the ensign of the church. A cleric of mature age shall
be over each house.

The lay members of the church shall strictly subject them-
selves to the rules of the church ; they shall consider it dis-
honourable in the sight of men and of heaven wilfully to disobey
them. They are as the rank and file of a well-disciplined army,
each an unit in a glorious family, each adding honour and glory
when right-minded, but dishonour and shame if evil-minded.
Let no man feel aggrieved without good cause, let him not dis-
turb the peace and harmony of the church, for if truly childi-en
of God they will be loving and forbearing, and strive to restrain
their own weaknesses, and ovei-look the slight weaknesses of
others. If they strive not, then they are not really children of
God, but children of the world ; bearing always in mind, that
the children of God cannot do without producing much evil
what is not noticed in the wicked, for the wicked are expected



240 MISSIONS.

to do and talk wickedly ; but upon the members of the Church
of Christ the eyes of the wicked, the wavering, and the weak in
faith are fixed, influencing them sooner or later greatly. The
members shall be honest, straightforward, triith-tellers, not
tale-bearers, chaste, sober, righteous, slow to anger, forgiving,
in all their dealings giving the preference to those like-minded
as themselves, that mutually they may assist each other.

Innocent amusements shall not be debarred, but they shall
not engross too much of their thoughts, lest they be led to
forget God ; but in moderation they are good, in that they
satisfy the innocent longings of the body.



The rules of the church shall not be binding for more than
one generation of thirty years, for it shall be deemed incapable
that one generation shall bind another in anything. It is the
birthright of every generation of thirty years to ratify, revoke,
or amend, through their representatives in solemn convocation,
the rules of the previous generation of thirty years. Therefore,
every thirty years there shall be a holy convocation of the
church. Seven of the representatives shall be elected by the
lay commtmicants, five by the several orders of the clergy, and
one shall be elected by the archbishops out of the archbishops,
and he shaU preside at the convocation, which shall be dis-
solved within one month after its assemblage, otherwise it shall
not have the power to confirm, add to, or revoke, but the rules
of the previous era of thirty years shaU be considered as con-
firmed. A spirit of mutual love, kindliness of heart, and un-
presumption, with an entire absence of party spirit, shall govern
their hearts ; and their dehberations shall not be made known,
nor be written down ; their decisions only shall be made known
to the church, which shall accept their award as final, for the



MISSIONS. 241

ensuing term of thirty years, without recrimination or ori-
ticisra. The rules of one age shall not be altered unless they
be absolutely necessary, for frequent alterations are frequent
evils.

The first year of every century shall be a year of jubilee to
the whole church throughout the world ; it shall be a year of
unity among the followers of Christ throughout the world ;
there shall be an interchange of courtesy, of holy communion
and fellowship among the nations. And there shall be a holy
assembly, during three mouths, of archbishops from every
nation, in the chief city of that nation — in the spring time of
that nation — which numbers the greatest number of the chil-
dren of Christ. And the children of Christ in that nation shall
with open hearts and great love entertain and lodge them, and
claim them as fellow-heirs of Christ ; and when they depart, it
shall be with great honour, and with the solemn blessing of
the archbishops of the honoured nation. And at the convo-
cation the archbishops shall commune together, and confer
together concerning their respective rules, that each may learii
from the other the right governance of the church.

All the sanctuaries, buildings, moneys, goods, and chattels
vested or bought for the use or with the moneys of the church
shall be considered vested in the archbishops of their nation, in
behalf of the true church in that nation. They shall be the
chief judges in all things appertaining to the governance of the
church, from whose judgment there shall be no earthly appeal.
They shall have the fullest power to bind and loose all things
relating to church governance ; to them the children of God
shall defer, both clerical and lay, as being for the eternal benefit
of all the church.



242



CHAPTER V.
The Feast of Unity.

T IKE as spurious clerics have bewildered themselves with the
-^ lying doctrine of the Trinity, even adopting the foolish
Athanasian creed as their creed, so have they bewildered them-
selves concerning the Last Supper of the Messiah ; they have
become bewilderers of the people rather than teachers.

The Feast of Unity is a feast observed only by the zealous
followers of Christ, instituted by our Lord as their bond of
union, common to all who believe his great atonement to be
their atonement before God, his God and our God. The feast
is a gathering together of the zealous workers of the Great
King, whereat they eat and drink together in commemoration
of his last supper, strengthening each other in mutual love and
social fellowship, because of their unity of spirit in looking
forward to their final redemption through the mediatory death
of their Great Atonement. It is a feast whereat it is lawful
only for the zealous workers, cleric and lay, and for the aged
and infirm who have been zealous workers, to sit together, for
they only are the saints of the church, the most worthy ones of
the earth ; the lukewarm and the unbeliever are not worthy,
nor the disorderly. Therefore the saints of the church are not
merely believers and worshippers, but zealous workers also ; in
the sight of God they are esteemed greatly, for they are truly
His working children, the winners of souls, and the children of
the Lord Christ their King, and the true friends of all mankind.



THE FEAST OP UNITY. 243

The twelve apostles of the Messiah were the fix-st saints of
the true church ; with them Christ held holy communion, and
tliey with Chi-ist, friends one of the other, united strongly
together through their love of God, he their teacher, they hig
pupils. Knowing that his mediatory death would take place
on the morrow, the Messiah urged them occasionally to meet
together, and continue in the same unity of spirit after his
death, ordaining that all his followers should meet and partake
of food together in holy bonds of unity of purpose and mutual
love, thereby commemorating his mediatory death and strong
desire for their unity, that they might be strong in the warfare
waged by his church against the wickedness of evil men. There-
fore, twelve times during each year the Feast of Unity shall b"
held in every sanctuary. There shall first be held a service of oi?
hour ; then all the saints shall partake of food, many takiuL^
out of one platter and many out of one cup, as a token of unity
of spirit. This they shall do in commemoration of the unity of
spirit that swayed the right-minded at the table of our Loi-d
and King the Messiah, and also in commemoration of his great
pve for mankind in pouring out his blood and giving up his
body to be broken for us ; that through his mediatory death our
souls might be pardoned, and enter heaven. Then shall the
minister give to the congregation an account of his own labour,
and of the zealous workers of the church of his district in ex-
tending and strengthening the kingdom of their Lord since
t?heir previous assemblage ; and, with praise and thanksgiving
to their God and to His glorious Son their King, end each
feast.

A lay saint shall be admitted to Holy Communion only at
the sanctuary where he habitually worships. If he does aught
that is dishonoiu-able, the minister of his sanctuary, when the

Q 2



244 THE FEAST OP UNITY.

same is made known to him, shall admonish him If he again
transgress, he shall be suspended from holding Holy Communion,
nor shall he again be deemed a saint until he thoroughly re-
pents. When a member becomes a saint by admittance to Holy
Communion with saints, and afterwards habitually worships
elsewhere, the minister of his former sanctuary shall give him a
certificate of his saintship ; it shall be to him a sign of his
honourable conduct, and to the minister of his present sanc-
tuary, to whom it shall be permanently given.

By saints alone shall the several ofl&ces of the church be
filled, from the humblest to the most exalted, and they shall be
held in mutual honour, for there are none so honourable among
the rest of mankind.

Like as the ordinance of baptism separates those who are
members of the church from those who are not members, so in
like manner the ordinance of the Lord's Supper distinguishes
the true servants of God and of His Messiah from those whose
love for God is not very strong — not so strong as to work for
Him. All are servants who unitedly work to extend the king-
dom of Christ upon earth, whether as ministers, as teachers in
the schools, or in ministering to the necessitous both of body
and soul, or in striving to spread around a right comprehension
of God. These are the servants of God and of His Messiah ;
these are the saints, the active workers of the one Church of
Christ.



245



CHAPTER VL

The Sanctuary.

LET there be in every sanctuary seats free to all. Let no
seats be enclosed, for the Church of Christ is the church
of all, equally for the poor as well as for the rich. God looks
only for the worship of the contrite in heart.

Be very zealous until there be in eveiy diocese throughout
your nation one sanctuary for every one thousand souls of the
population, and take especial heed and imitate not the foolish
and idolatrous sects, who build a few sanctuaries for the glorifi-
cation of man, but foolishly pretend them to be for the glori-
fication of God. Lavish not your means upou ornamented
bricks and stone, for God, the creator of the starry skies, values
not those things, but provide sanctuaries sufficient in number.

The sanctuaries shall be plain, neat, and cheery within, and
neat on the outside, without meanness, and without ostentation,
and shall be maintained very clean and suitably. There shall
be no symbols, for these are oft the stepping stones to folly ;
nor images, nor pictures, nor monuments, nor tablets for the
glorification of man in your sanctuaries. Coloured glass may be
used, but no symbol or representation thereon of any living or
supposed living creature. A decorated sanctuary God does not
deem dishonourable, but it is more honourable to provide
sufficient sanctuaries and schools, and to administer to the
"wants of the necessitous of His childi-en.

There shall be no sacrificial altar in the sanctuary. Aa



24:6 THE SAXCTUARY.

altar indeed is needed, but not for sacrifice, but to receive the
thank and dedicatory offerings of the people to God. The
altar shall have railings upon it on three sides. At baptism the
little child shall be placed upon the altar, and dedicated by his
guardians to God ; and his guardians shall solemnly undertake,
as fai- as in them lay, to cause him to live uprightly and
honestly before God. And at the age of fifteen years, upon
certain convenient days, the children shall, of their own free
will, release their guardians, and upon the altar dedicate them-
selves aloud to God as followers of the Holy Christ their King.
And upon the altar all converts shall likewise dedicate themselves
to God ; and all who are appointed as teachers of the young and
Spiritual teachers of the people, at their ordination. Also when
curates become rectors, when rectors become vicars, when vicars
become bishops, and when bishops become archbishops, they
shall renew the dedication of themselves to God, as followers of
the Holy Christ. And upon the altars shall be placed all the
gifts dedicated for the maintenance of the church in the nation,
and of all things connected with the sanctuaiy ; nothing shall
be used of the gifts until they be solemnly placed upon
an altar, and solemnly offered and dedicated to the service of
God. It shall be unlawful for the clerics to use any gift until
it be first solemnly placed upon an altar, and prayerfully offered
to God and His glorious Son our King.

Dedicate your sanctuaries to God and His glorious Son ;
call them not after the name of any other living being. Distin-
guishing them one fi'om the other after this manner : —

The Sanctuary of the Holy God — of the Messiah — of the
Holy Ghost — of the One God — of the Almighty — of the
Wondrous God — of Christ — of Jesus — of the Great Atonement
— of the All-sufficient Atonement — of Oiu- Kind Deliverer — of
the Just One — of Good Things — of the All-seeing God — of



THE SANCTUARY. 247

Pleasant Things — of Holiness — of Goodness — of God's Love —
of Spiritual Love — of Redemption — of Sanctification — of Truth
— of Wisdom — of Praise — of Thanksgiving — of Faith — of
Prayer — of Good Will — of Newness of Life — of the Lord of
Hosts — of the Creator — of Jehovah — of Emmanuel — of Salvation
— of Holy Joy — of the Everlasting God — of the Word of God —
of the Holy Scriptures — of the Voice of God — of the Spirit of
Christ — of the Spirit of the Holy Scriptures — of the Mighty
Councillor — of the Great High Priest — of the Children of God
— of the Children of Christ — of Temperance — of the True of
Heart — of Equity — of Justice — of Obedience to God — of
Spiritual Light — of Spiritual Discipline — of Eternal Life — ©f
Mercy — of Forgiveness — of Repentance — of Contrition — of the
Strong in Faith — of the Blessed — of a Right Understanding —
of a Right Knowledge — of the Commandments — of a Right
Spirit — of the Humble — of the Meek — of the Saved — of Our
Everlasting Home — of Benevolence — of Charity — of Mutual
Love — of Spiritual Unity — of Mutvial Help — of Patience — of
the Contented — of the Zealous — of True Worshippers — of the
Holy Father — of the Holy Son — of the Only Born Son of God —
of the Corner Stone — of the Master — of the Son of David — of
the Son of Man — of Unity of Faith — of Holy Brotherhood — of
Fidelity — of the Great King.

Names given only to distinguish one sanctuary from another
— ^names the one equal to the other — every sanctuary being
dedicated to the One Holy God and His Holy Son, the Christ
our King. Therefore is evei*y sanctuary equal in the sight
of God.

Call not your sanctuaries by the appellation of churches,
but call them sanctuaries.



248



CHAPTER VII.
Religious Services.

THE services shall be as that in the Trinitarian Church of
England. Those portions which are contradictory to the
true Scripture doctrines siiall be modified by the clergy accord-
ing to their judgment. They shall read the services dis-
tinctly in their natural tone of voice, and the hymnal tunes
shall be such as are easy for all the people, and the people shall
be taught to sing in like manner as they are taught to read.
Prayer, praise, and thanksgiving being sometimes addressed to
God, and sometimes to His glorious Son, Beseeching the
granting of every prayer wholly through the great atonement
of Jesus Christ our Messiah, for without him there is no deliver-
ance from condemnation, and like as God desires that we may
love and obey Him, it is also good when we supplicate that not
only ourselves, but all mankind also, may love and obey His
holy commandments, and be protected from all things hurtful
to both soul and body.

It is good to diversify the services with prayer, praise, and
thanksgiving, the minister taking part, and the people respond-
ing with the natural voice, that the strong and weak of hearing
may understand every word and unite in giving utterance,
vai-ying with hymns and psalms. With the reading of portions
of Scripture by the minister, and with clear explanation and
exhortations. But neither his explanations nor his exhorta-



RELIGIOUS SERVICES. 245

tions shall be long, lest they be wearisome to the people and
bewilder rather than teach.

It is good to have a choir to lead the people in their songs,
and it is good to let them be simple and easy, that their thoughts
may not dwell too much upon the tunes, lest their songs
proceed not from the heart but only from the lips

Let certain of the choir sometimes take one part, and the
residue of the choir and the congregation make responses, for it
is very wise to stir the hearts of the worshippers, that their souls
may povir forth utterances and be maintained full of wakeful-
ness, for a monotonous service begets drowsiness in the luke-
warm; these a diversified service stirs up, and quickens their
understanding, and the services become to them a pleastire, and
not a duty that is wearisome. But eschew the superstitious
changing of dresses, theatrical genuflections, and swinging of
censers, for these are folly and lead to greater follies. Remem-
bering that a cleric is simply one of the congregation, neither
more nor less ; more highly esteemed in the sight of God only
when he is more worthy than any there.

Every spiritual teacher shall read in his natural tone of
voice, very clearly, and impi-essively. It is necessary that the
services shall be so plain to the xinderstanding as that children


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Online LibraryLyman AbbottChrist is coming! : Part I. Evidences of the existence of God, and of the truth of the holy scriptures. Parts II & III. The holy scriptures and their description of the mighty plan of God. Parts IV & → online text (page 18 of 19)