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these allowances I am willing to make to you. But then you in your turn must make some allowances to me. You must allow, that, when there are two ways of doing a thing,-a better way and a worse,—a wise man will choose the better. You must allow too, that there are many things of no real consequence in themselves, which become of consequence from being the appointed marks of respect and reverence, or of the contrary. For example, if the king were to come into this country, and any of you wanted to present a petition to him, the king could receive the petition from you just as well, whether your heads were covered or uncovered. Yet not a man amongst you would think of speaking to the king with his hat on. Why so? For this plain reason: because pulling off one's hat is in this country the way shewing respect and honour to our superiors. Now kneeling holds the same place in our duty to God, as standing bareheaded holds in our duty to the king. It is the appointed way of shewing reverence to him it is the natural posture of humility and submission: and the man who does not do it, unless he has some good excuse, fails in paying God the bodily worship and outward reverence due to him. It is true, the worship of the body is nothing, and worse than nothing, unless it be accompanied by the worship of the soul. But it is
equally true that the worship of the soul is imperfect and unseemly, and wanting in proper lowliness, unless it be accompanied by the worship of the body. The two should go together, as they do in the 95th Psalm; where we are exhorted to worship and fall down and kneel before the Lord our Maker. Thus we read of holy Daniel, just before he was thrown into the den of lions, that he kneeled on his knees, and prayed. Again we read of St Paul, that, when he had taken leave of the elders at Ephesus in his farewell sermon at Miletus, he kneeled down and prayed with them all. But what need is there to set before you such examples as these, when St Luke tells us of our Saviour himself, that he kneeled down and prayed? Shall the Son of God himself kneel when he prays? and shall we not kneel? Therefore I would advise the young and healthy,—of the old and infirm I say nothing; for I wish not to make the service of God, which ought to be a comfort and delight, a burthen to any, but the young and active and healthy I would advise to accustom themselves to kneel during the prayers, just as they stand during the psalms, and sit during the lessons. So behaving, they will do what is seemly and right.
But to return to the Collects: the first Collect, you know, changes every Sunday: so that, with those for Christmasday and Ash Wednesday, and
the three for Good Friday, you have nearly sixty different Collects read to you in the course of the year. One or two of them here and there may seem somewhat difficult, owing to the changes that have taken place in the meaning of words since they were written but for the most part they are very easy and short, much to the purpose, and exceedingly beautiful; and I believe it would be hard to find the same number of holy thoughts and fitting petitions anywhere else exprest in so few words.
The second Collect, that for Peace, is repeated every Sunday so I shall go through it sentence by sentence, not merely to teach you its full meaning, but also to shew you how much more there is in the prayers than we have any notion of, till we come to look at them closely. part of this prayer is easy enough.
Suppose it stood thus: "O God, who art the author of peace, and lover of concord, defend us, thy humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies, that we, surely trusting in thy defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ, our Lord." This, we should all see at once, would be a petition to God to give us the great blessing of outward peace, and to defend us from all the adversaries of peace, that is, from all who set their faces against peace, whether at home
or abroad. This too is undoubtedly one of the things that we ask of God in this prayer. But this cannot be all or what would be the meaning of the words which I left out in reading it over just now?"in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom.” These words, it is plain, have nothing to do with outward peace: so they warn us to look deeper into the Collect, and to understand it as a prayer, not only for outward peace from worldly enemies, but also for that inward peace which leads to eternal life. Having thus got the key to the meaning of this Collect, let us try to unlock it, and to see what treasures it contains. It begins, “O God, who art the author of peace!" And so he is. God is the author of peace, as opposed to war. But still more is he the author of peace of mind, as opposed to those inward fightings and distractions, which disturb and rend the unregenerate heart, making it like a den of serpents and wild beasts, full of everything that is venomous and fierce and mischievous. All these things God by his grace casts out of the heart, just as Jesus Christ, when he was on earth, used to cast the devils out of the men who were possest by them: and by so doing he gives us peace. But God is not only the author of peace: he is also the lover of conAnd what is that? Concord is a very ex
pressive word, signifying the meeting and joining of hearts. Where heart goes along with heart, and each man's heart is with his fellow, and there is no bickering, or envying, or grudging, or division of any sort, but all the people is of one heart and one mind,-there, and there alone, is true concord. This concord God is said to love; because it betokens happiness among his creatures, and brings them more and more to the knowledge of him," whom to know is eternal life." For the only road to a perfect knowledge of God is through faith in Christ and brotherly love: other road beside this there is none to that perfect and practical knowledge, which alone can lead to life eternal. But what are the signs of this concord? One sign, and one beginning of it, is peace of heart on earth: and this cannot be enjoyed, until the Spirit of God has wrought in us a hearty trust in God's mercy, and has broken the chains in which sin held us, and given us a new nature, a nature of humility, in which men rejoice to serve Christ, the Ransomer and Saviour of the world. This service may indeed be said to be perfect freedom for the servants of God are free. They are not slaves, nor hirelings: they work not out of fear, from compulsion, nor for wages: but they are sons, and work like sons, regularly and steadily, on their heavenly Father's farm, being