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spiritual wants. We are by nature careless and indif-
It must, therefore, be quite evident, that the general adoption of the congregational system-that is to say, the suffering religion to be left in the hands of those only who voluntarily associate together for its support, and are able to procure for themselves the services of a religious teacher, would be to leave the mass of the community in utter spiritual destitution. If any one wishes to see an example of this statement, let him only read the accounts of religion in the United States of America, and he will find the effects of the voluntary congregational system precisely as I have described. In the towns there are many able ministers, and many respectable and attentive congregations,though even there the poor are but ill provided for,but if you go into the remote provinces, and inquire of the people concerning the religion which they profess, they will tell you, without trembling, that they are not Christians, they have never been baptised, never instructed, never invited to Christ's fold: in short, they are as sheep without a shepherd: no man careth for their souls.
Contrast with this the parochial and pastoral system of our Established Church, especially as it is exhibited in our rural districts. In each parish there is a pastor, who is responsible for the religious instruction of every individual within its limits: he has been regularly ordained by the laying on of hands, according to the mode prescribed by Christ and his apostles; and every precaution has been taken to ensure his competency and faithfulness. It is his duty to admonish parents that they bring their children to be baptised; to provide, as far as he is able, for their religious education; to present them to the bishop for confirmation; to invite them to the holy communion; to keep his eye on each of them through life, counselling the strong and vigorous, consoling the aged and infirm. He invites all to share his ministry, saying, "Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." To those who attend his call he administers living water from the fountain of God's word, and dispenses those holy sacraments which are ordained as the means of grace.
And if, as it is too probable, many shall be found who slight and despise his offers, he does not therefore consider them as no longer members of his flock. No! he grieves and prays for them, and ever seeks opportunity to bring them within his fold. Perhaps
there is no more admirable instance of the usefulness and excellence of the pastoral office than this- the bringing back the sheep that have strayed. Many a man there is who has fallen into the snares of sin, and never crosses the threshold of God's house, but lives without God in the world, and would die without him, but for the ministry of the parochial pastor. It is when God in his mercy has stricken the sinful man with affliction or sickness, that the pastor seeks and finds him. He raises the latch of the cottage-door, unbidden it may be, but not unwelcome; his office, as God's acknowledged minister, renders him an exvisitor :--and then, when sadness reigns around, and sorrow fills the dwelling,-when natural affection welcomes any hope of comfort to the sick man's soul, and the hard heart is softened, and the stubborn will subdued, then it is that the spiritual pastor communes with the stricken wanderer, unfolds to him the threatenings and promises of the Gospel, and leads him to seek his God in prayer. And that man of sin, perhaps, is plucked like a brand from the burning; and, if God prolong his life, he rises from his bed of sickness an altered man; "a clean heart and right spirit" are given him; he is saved from sin and from eternal death by the pastoral ministry of one whom, in the days of health and strength, he perhaps scoffed at and slighted, but whom the paternal institutions of his country-following, in this instance, the truest dictates of Christian charity-appointed to be the guide and shepherd of his soul. It is thus that the pastoral ministry of our Church is effectual in doing the Lord's work, in a manner, and to an extent, to which any other known system is altogether incompetent. In fact, she aims at nothing less than embracing all the members of the community within her arms. By unthinking persons it is sometimes thrown out as a reproach against our Church, that she num bers so many flagrant sinners among her sons: even as the self-righteous Pharisees reproached our Lord himself because he sat at meat with publicans and sinners. "See a man," say they, "reeling drunken through the street, and ask him what religion he is of, and he will tell you he is of the Church of England." Yes! he is ours; we acknowledge him as ours. He has never perhaps entered God's house; yet he is ours. No one else claims him, therefore he is ours. Lost and reprobate though he be, the parochial pastor knows him as one of his sheep, and grieves for him, and prays for him; and whensoever opportunity is found, he will, if God so please, bring that sinner home to his fold; even as the shepherd seeks the lost sheep in the wilderness, and, when he has found him, he lays him on his shoulder, and carries him home rejoicing. And a shout of joy rings through heaven's bright courts when the good angels behold another soul saved, another lost sheep brought home to the fold of Christ. Brethren, I pray you think on these matters; for they ought to be duly weighed and understood now that the reckless spirit of innovation has pointed its finger at those time-honoured institu tions which have, this many an age, been silently doing the Lord's work, and spreading the knowledge of Gospel-truth through every district in the land. If men would but bring themselves to calm and sober inquiry, we need not fear the result; for if it be, as we must surely acknowledge that it is, the bounden duty of a Christian to care for the soul of his fellowsinner; if, like our blessed Master, we are bound to seek those that are lost, to bind up the wounds of the broken-hearted, to instruct the ignorant, and those that are out of the way, in the saving truths of the Gospel, then, surely, the pastoral system of our Established Church cannot be dispensed with Nay, if all the upper and middle classes of society were to desert her, and provide other teachers for themselves, still, for the sake of the millions of poor men who are unable to purchase the bread of life, we are bound, as
a Christian nation, to furnish pastors who shall feed them.
In the foregoing sermon (adds the author in a note), the Church is designedly spoken of, in accordance with the subject of the whole volume, with regard to its political and social relations. Other writers have chosen to themselves the task of explaining to the public the claims and privileges of the Catholic Church. Let me, however, observe, with great deference to the learning and zeal of those who have taken up the latter point, that if we err (as doubtless many have erred) in dwelling too much on the value of the Establishment, and forgetting the superior claims of the Catholic Church, we may also err in depreciating the Established Church in our zeal for Catholicism. By the blessing of God, the Church established in this land is a branch of the true apostolic Church. If it were not, we could not render it our allegiance; but as it is, we are bound very highly to revere and magnify it. And, while I admit the necessity of spreading abroad true notions respecting the claims and privileges of the Church of Christ, I may be permitted to question the prudence of accustoming men's minds to dwell on the possibility of its being no longer allied with the State. I love to contemplate the Established Church, as it now is, and as I trust it will long remain, the great instrument of Providence to spread the means of grace and Gospel-truth throughout the length and breadth of the land, and, by means of this nation, throughout the world. With regard to the minor inconveniences which have fortuitously (if I may so speak) resulted from the union of Church and State, I would willingly leave them in the background, as long as it is possible, and dwell rather on its immense and wide-spreading advantages. In short, I desire to view and to uphold the alliance between the Church of Christ and our civil government as a sacred obligation, a work of charity and piety, the instrument of God for infinite good, and the basis of our political and social happiness.
THE BLESSED EFFECTS OF THE BIBLE.-If the mass of a nation, privileged with the Bible, have their portion at last with the unbelieving, it must not be forgotten, that there is in every age a remnant, who trust in the Saviour whom that Bible reveals. blessings which result from the possession of the Scriptures are not to be computed from what appears on the surface of society. There is a quiet under-current of happiness, which is generally unobserved, but which greatly swells the amount of good to be traced to the Bible. You must go into families, and see how burdens are lightened, and afflictions mitigated, by the promises of holy writ. You must follow men into their retirements, and learn how they gather strength from the study of the sacred volume, for discharging the various duties of life. You must be with them in their struggles with poverty, and observe how contentment is engendered by the prospect of riches which cannot fade away. You must be with them on their death-beds, and mark how the gloom of the opening grave is scattered by the hope which is "full of immortality." And you must be with them, if indeed the spirit could be accompanied in its heavenly flight, as they enter the Divine presence, and prove, by taking possession of the inheritance which the Bible offers to believers, that they "have not followed a cunningly devised fable." The sum of happiness conferred by revelation can never be known until God shall have laid open all secrets at the judgment. We must have access to the history of every individual, from his childhood up to his entering his everlasting rest, before we have the elements from which to compute what Christianity hath done for those who
receive it into the heart. And if but one or two were gathered out from a people, as a result of conveying to that people the records of revelation, there would be, we may not doubt, such an amount of conferred benefit, as would sufficiently prove the advantage of possessing the oracles of God.-Rev. II. Melvill
REAL AND APPARENT HAPPINESS.-We pity the folly of the lark, which, while it playeth with the feather, stoopeth to the glass, is caught in the fowler's net; and yet cannot see ourselves alike made fools by Satan, who, deluding us by the vain feathers and glasses of the world, suddenly enwrappeth us in his snares. We see not the nets, indeed; it is too much that we shall feel them, and that they are not so easily escaped after, as before avoided. O Lord, keep thou mine eyes from beholding vanity. And though mine eyes see it, let not my heart stoop to it, but loathe it afar off. And if I stoop at any time and be taken, set thou my soul at liberty, that I may say, my soul is escaped, even as a bird out of the snare of the fowler; the snare is broken, and I am delivered.— Bishop Hall.
THE VALUE OF THE CROSS.-Let it be to the Jews a scandal, or offensive to their fancy, prepossessed with expectations of a Messiah flourishing in secular pomp and prosperity; let it be folly to the Greeks, or seem absurd to men puffed up and corrupted in mind with fleshly notions and maxims of worldly craft, disposing them to value nothing which is not grateful to present sense or fancy,--that God should put his own beloved Son into so very sad and despicable a condition; that salvation from death and misery should be procured by so miserable a death; that eternal joy, glory, and happiness, should issue from these fountains of sorrow and shame; that a person in external semblance devoted to so opprobrious usage, should be the Lord and Redeemer of mankind, the King and Judge of all the world;-let, I say, this doctrine be scandalous and distasteful to some persons tainted with prejudice; let it be strange and incredible to others blinded with self-conceit; let all the inconsiderate, all the proud, all the profane part of mankind, openly with their mouth, or closely in heart, slight and reject it: yet to us it must appear grateful and joyous; to us it is a faithful and most credible proposition, worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, in this way, of suffering for them.— Dr. Barrow.
SECOND SUNDAY IN ADVENT.
Thou, whose mandates poured their light
Saviour, who the Gospel gave,
Till at last thy servants come
TO ONE DEPRIVED OF HEARING AT
O CHRISTIAN! though thine "outward man" decay,
Let not the sigh of sorrow heave thy breast;
"RETURN UNTO ME, AND I WILL RETURN UNTO THEE."
BY THE REV. H. F. LYTE.
WILT thou return to me, O Lord,
O cheering truth! O blessed word!
Since from thy foot I dared to roam,
My soul has found no rest; Chastised and contrite, back I come To seek it in thy breast.
And dost thou say, Thou wilt receive,
And loosed my every chain?
No, blessed Lord; not every chain,
BISHOP DEHON.-The following fragment, discovered amongst the papers of Bishop Dehon, strikingly manifests the deep piety of his soul, and the right spirit in which he entered on his important office :-"It having pleased Almighty God to permit me to be called to the office of a bishop in his Church, I ought to be humbled to the dust by the sense of my unworthiness, and penetrated with gratitude, love, and fear, for this undeserved distinction. 'Lord! what am I, or what is my father's house, that thou shouldest bring me to this honour in thy service?' I have examined my past life. Oh! how little do I find with which to be satished! how much to condemn! God be merciful From Hours of Sorrow.
to me a sinner! Would men inspect themselves closely by the light of God's word, how little cause would they find in themselves for self-complacency. Alas! my best services have been alloyed with too much selfishness; and conscience accuses me of many sins. Never have I felt myself so poor and needy, so culpable and wretched, so much a subject for mercy rather than favour. Lord, what is man, that thou art mindful of him; or the son of man, that thou so regardest him?' At times I have felt as if I would give worlds, if I had them, could I but go spotless into the office whereunto I have been permitted to be called. But, perhaps, there is something of pride and self-love in this: there is none good but One.' All whom he has employed, from among men, have been sinners. In him alone can there be any glorying; to him must be all glory. Saul who persecuted, and Peter who denied Jesus, were employed as Apostles by him, and their conversion has scarcely done less than their labours for his cause. I hope that God has presented me with this humbling view of myself, that I may perceive fully, at my entrance on this office, that if I stand at all, it must be in the worthiness of Christ: that in me there is no good thing to give me authority, power, complacency, or confidence: that I must act by his authority and power; be a dependent of his, and owe every thing to him, especially that I may know and feel the absolute necessity, the amazing extent, the constraining power of his mercy in Christ Jesus; and so have a fuller sense of the importance of the treasure intrusted to me. My best delight has been in his law-my fondest joy....
EGYPTIAN BURYING-PLACE.-Gen. xxiii. 9. In Egypt, the dead, after being embalmed, were deposited, in great numbers, in caves or places formed under ground. These are now known by the name of mummy pits. The following is an interesting account of a visit to one of them: "We now went to see the mummy pits. It is impossible to conceive a more singular and astonishing sight than a tomb of this description. Imagine a cave of considerable magnitude filled up with heaps of dead bodies in all directions, and in the most whimsical attitudes; some with extended arms, others holding out a right hand, and apparently in the attitude of addressing you: some prostrate, others with their heels sticking up in the air. At every step you thrust your feet through a body or crush a head. Most of the bodies are enveloped with linen, coated with gum, &c. for their better preservation. Some of the linen is of a texture remarkably fine, far surpassing what is made in Egypt at this day, and proving that their manufactures must have arrived at a great degree of excellence. Many of the bodies, probably of the lower orders, are simply dried, without any envelopment. Innumerable fragments of small idols are scattered about; they are mostly human figures of Osiris, about two inches long, with the hook and scourge in either hand some are of stone, some of baked earthenware, and others of blue pottery. The bodies are stowed in compact masses, tier on tier, always crossing each other. In some instances we found the hair quite perfect. It was in a tomb of this description that some of the diggers found a beautiful net-work, composed of long blue beads, hollow, with threads passed through them; the parts of the net hanging down over the shoulders, and all emanating from a scarabæus thebaicus, which was on the crown of the head. It was found on the head of a female mummy."-Irby and Mangles' Travels.
LONDON:-Published by JAMES BURNS, 17 Portman Street, Portman Square; W. EDWARDS, 12 Ave-Maria Lane, St. Paul's; and to be procured, by order, of all Booksellers in Town and Country.
ROBSON, LEVEY, AND FRANKLYN, 46 ST. MARTIN'S LANE.
THE EXCELLENCE OF THE LITURGY. BY THE REV. H. G. WATKINS, M.A. Rector of St. Swithin, London Stone, with St. Mary Bothaw.
[Concluded from No. XXVII.]
Ir was a blessed work for this country, at the period of the Reformation, that wise and pious men-men who hazarded their lives, and some that were actual martyrs-were qualified and raised up of God to do away the superstitions and heresies from the then national service-book, and to provide for our use a form of prayer scriptural, devotional, comprehensive, and benevolent.
The Liturgy of our Church is truly SCRIP
Blessed be God we are not required to assist in the performance of a service founded merely on the traditions of men, made up of senseless jargon, and embracing doctrines and ceremonies which are contrary both to Scripture, and reason, and common sense. Neither our understandings nor our consciences are insulted by our present established formularies; as, I am sure, must be dreadfully the case with Romanist priests, if they have at all independent, reflecting, and pious minds. The Liturgy put into our hands abounds with Scripture phrases, and embraces large portions of the word of God. The whole book of Psalms, and the substance of the New Testament, are embodied in our Prayer-Book. There is a rich vein of biblical phraseology running through all the services, which has a tendency, as the Scriptures themselves have, by the blessing of God on the due use of them, to excite holy desires and good counsels in the hearts of those, who, with simpliVOL. I.-NO. XXIX.
city and godly sincerity, desire to feel the truths they utter, and who earnestly hope for the mercies they seek. It is moreover declared in the Book of Common Prayer itself, that "Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation." "Now, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of holy writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so beside the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of salvation." So that if there be, through change of time, any doubt or ambiguity in the meaning of a word or phrase, the Church itself refers the candid inquirer for its interpretation to the plain declarations, and scope and meaning of the Divine word. And there is nothing in the Prayer-Book, allowing for the change by time in the application or interpretation of a word or a phrase, which may not be clearly proved to be a truth of God, by the clear and positive evidence of Holy Scripture.
The Liturgy of our Church is strictly and literally of a DEVOTIONAL character.
The book pursues throughout a few highly important objects. Its subjects are holy and blameless. Its obvious tendency is to humble the mind of man on account of his transgressions. It leads him sincerely to lament his guilt, and to seek the pardon of his secret faults, his presumptuous sins, his neglects and omissions, through the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God. It teaches him to value,
VI. and XX. Articles. 2 G
and seck, and cherish the holy-making influences of the Divine Spirit, who works in the children of God to will and to do of his good pleasure, that thereby his immortal mind may tend toward the perfected state of the Church in heaven.
The whole Sabbath service, when rightly used, is a concern between the ever-blessed God and his sinful creatures; and when we engage in it, we ought to consider that we are addressing the Majesty of heaven on subjects of infinite importance to our future well-being. From the commencement to the conclusion of the whole exercise we have to do with God, and with God only, in the way of confessing our sins to him-imploring favour from him-acknowledging our obligation to him-declaring our belief in his holy word-devoting ourselves to him in body, soul, and spirit-and promising that He, being our helper, we will " give up ourselves to his service, and walk before him in true holiness and righteousness all the days of our life."
Again, the Liturgy of our Church is very
There is no temporal or spiritual want, no want for the body or the soul, no good thing for which we ought to pray in public, that is not included in some one of its general or especial supplications. It enters into as many particulars, and into as minute details, as is consistent and fitting. It teaches us to confess our sins, by putting them into certain classes, leaving cach one's conscience to lament and bewail his own especial transgressions. It teaches us to pray for the forgiveness of all sin as deadly to the soul's peace and happiness, if it remain unrepented of, unforsaken, and therefore unforgiven. There is no sin that can be committed against God and our neighbour, that the mind of him who has committed it, and is grieved concerning it, may not find included in some one of the sorts of sins, from the practice, the guilt, and the punishment of which we pray in the Litany that the good and merciful "Lord would deliver us." Much of this part of the public service comprehends the cases and circumstances spiritually and temporally of the whole visible Church. We pray in the Litany for all that are in authority over us for all that are weak-hearted, and under the temptations of Satan-for all that are in danger and tribulation-for all sick persons, and young or fatherless children--and for widows, and all that are desolate and oppressed, and are in any way unkindly and unjustly treated by others; and who can tell how much unkindness, and oppression, and injustice, may have been discontinued or prevented by such an intercession?
These prayers are, as they ought to be, very general and comprehensive; and when they are offered in a spiritual and fervent manner to God, the Giver of all good, in the name of Jesus Christ, the mind of the worshipper may readily meditate upon any particular case, or circumstance, or person, for whom the intercession may be applicable; and then it is made a special prayer for that person, or for that circumstance in particular. The Liturgy of our Church contains the very breathings of BENEVOLENCE.
Like the holy word of God, these prayers carry no air of controversy with them; they offer no arguments in their own justification; they forbid none from using their own free petitions, in private and family devotion; they stop not to draw a sword to combat with assailants; but pursue a uniform, steady, and inoffensive course, having in view the glory of God, and the edification and salvation of those who seriously join in the use of them.
Our public prescribed prayers breathe nothing that is uncharitable, though they em brace the whole clearly revealed counsel of God; for, determinately speaking, the truth is perfectly consistent with the purest charity. Charity itself has a right to demand that we speak the truth. They give us words whereby to pray and give thanks for all men, "for Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Heretics, that God would take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of his word"for the whole state of Christ's Church here on earth, however separated from each other; and for "all who profess and call themselves Christians;" that "they may be led into the way of truth," and "hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life." Like their divine prototype, the Scriptures, they preach the Gospel to every creature. (Mark, xvi. 15.) The prayers have nothing of an exclusive character-nothing of a bigoted, much less of a bitter or persecuting spirit. The Liturgy directs us to pray that all men may be saved, by coming to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. ii. 4); and it declares and pronounces to all that truly repent, and rest their hopes of salvation on Jesus Christ, "the absolution and remission of their sins." It puts words of holy comfort into the mouth of the minister, who is taught to say to the penitent believer"God pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel." After this he is instructed to encourage the serious hearer, by saying, "Let us beseech God to grant us true repentance, and his Holy Spirit; that those things may please him which we do at this present, and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure