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word is a very fit and proper one,—are to be valued and regarded by us as means, not as ends. The end, the desirable end and object, which we ought all to have in view, is to become holy and godly. But the means appointed by our Saviour, whereby we are to become holy and godly, are his sacraments, prayer public and private, and the reading and teaching of his word. These are the means afforded us for becoming holy and godly : without using these means we cannot become so: by a right use of them we may. Still the means are not the end. The road which leads to London is not London. If a man once gets to confound these two things, and to mistake one for the other, -if he gets to fancy that saying prayers is holiness, that coming to church is godliness,—his error is most dangerous, and, if he is not cured of it, will be deadly. In the case of the road this is plain enough. If you saw a traveler sitting by the roadside, and he told you he was going to London, you would say to him, "This is the road; get up, and walk along; and, if you keep straight on, you will get there in time." So do we, God's ministers, say to all such as have the form of godliness, without the power, to all who come to church, without striving to obey God when they are out of church, to all such we say, "You have the
right means, if you would only use them: you
have learnt God's will, if you would only endeavour to do it. Practise, practise, practise what you learn quicken your steps; move onward along the road to heaven; give over slumbering and loitering by the way."
But suppose the traveler, instead of following your advice, were to say, "No, I shall sit on where I am for this, you yourself tell me, is the road to London: so, being in the right road, I shall soon get home." Were the traveller to make such an answer, what would you such you think? Would not you pity him, as crazed in mind? would not you try to rouse him? would not you warn him that the only home he was likely to get to was his last home? that he would soon starve or be frozen to death, if he did not jump up
move on quickly? What then! are you not quite as much to be pitied, do you not quite as much need to be warned, if you persist in the very same mistake about your heavenly journey, and lie motionless, fancying that it is enough to know and see the road, without troubling yourselves to follow it? So far is this from being enough, that better were it to be born a poor ignorant Turk or heathen, better, much better were it for a man never to have seen a church, never to have heard the name of Jesus Christ, than to have all the religious advantages vouchsafed to us Englishmen,
if he rests lazily satisfied with the forms of holiness, without endeavouring to obtain the substance. To pray with the lips, if that is all we do, is nothing, and worse than nothing. To pray with the understanding, if that is all we do, is nothing, and worse than nothing. We must pray with the lips, and with the understanding, and above all we must pray at the same time with the spirit. And this we cannot do, unless we are in earnest in our prayers, unless our heart is in them, unless we are sincerely striving to abide in God's holy law, and to walk in all his commandments.
PSALM XXXViii. 18.
I will confess my wickedness, and be sorry for my sin.
HAVING already spoken to you about the great necessity and importance of praying with the understanding, that is, of understanding and knowing and thinking what you are saying and asking for in your praises and prayers to God, I shall now try to help you in doing so, by setting before you the general bearing and purport of the service you are accustomed to hear in church, and shall add such remarks on particular prayers, as it may seem to me that you will be the better for. That general
bearing and purport you will find it easier to make out, if we divide what is called the Order for Morning Prayer into three parts, including the Litany. The first part begins at the beginning, and ends with the Lord's Prayer. This may be called the Confession, the chief thing we do in it being to confess our sins. The second part begins with, "O Lord, open thou our lips!" and goes down to the end of the Belief. This part I would call the Psalms and Lessons: not only because the Psalms, commonly so called, and the chapters chosen from the Old and New Testament, form far the largest portion of it: the rest of it likewise well deserves the same name. For what is that glorious Te Deum, which we repeat after the first Lesson, but a hymn or psalm, in which we praise God for all the wonderful and glorious works of his almighty power and love? And what is the Belief but a lesson ? a lesson of faith, to teach the young, and to remind the older, of the great truths they are to hold to as members of the Church of Christ. The third part,-which begins with, "Let us pray," and ends with, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,"-is made up of the Collects and the Litany, which may be classed together under the common name of Prayers. These may be regarded as the three main parts of the Morning Service, exclusive of the Communion