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times past conveyed to you; think of the tried and sure foundation which it has afforded to your troubled soul; think of your Redeemer bleeding on the cross for your sins, and from the scene of his agony hear him addressing you in affectionate accents, "Wilt thou also go away?" and surely you will be constrained to answer in the language of Peter, "Lord, to whom shall I go? Thou hast the words of eternal life."

I have thus endeavoured to set before you some of the grounds of offence taken by those who forsook Christ on the occasion referred to in the text, and also the grounds upon which Peter determined to remain with his Divine Master; and I would, in conclusion, state two reflections to be drawn from the subject which we have been considering.

1. What reason have we to thank God for giving us in his word so many salutary lessons to put us on our guard against the deceitfulness of our own hearts! Not only is it declared therein, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked," but in the incidents related in the sacred history we see its various workings exemplified, and are thereby taught the more forcibly, that "he that trusteth in his own heart is a fool." Probably these Jews who followed Christ for a time, were little conscious of the real motives by which they were actuated, until he laid them open to their view, when it appears they were offended, but not humbled. Be it our daily prayer, that He who is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things, will, by such means as his infinite wisdom sees most fit, pull down every high thought that exalteth itself against him; that he will" shew us if there be any wicked way in us, and lead us in the way everlasting." 2. How important is it to have clear views of the character and office of Christ! It was the assured conviction that Jesus was that Christ, the Son of the living God-that Divine Messenger of the covenant foretold by the prophets as the hope of Israel, that enabled Peter and the apostles to remain firm, when others around them withdrew from him. He recognised in him a Divine Instructor-one who had the words of eternal life; and therefore he hesitated not to submit implicitly to his guidance. So, brethren, when we are well assured of his infinite wisdom to guide our steps into the way of peace, and his infinite power to subdue all the enemies of our souls, we shall not hesitate to cast all our care upon him. It was the sight of Jesus sitting at the right hand of God, that animated Stephen, and filled his soul with holy triumph in the hour of his martyrdom. It was firm trust in the eternal power of Christ, that supported Paul in the

prospect of death: "I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which is committed unto him against that day." Seek, brethren, this firm and assured faith in Christ, as your prophet, priest, and king; and then, whatever trials you may be called upon to endure, however your faith may be assailed, you may reply, "Who shall separate me from the love of Christ? He has the words of eternal life. He has engaged to preserve me safe unto the end; and none shall make his promise void."

LITURGICAL HINTS.-No. III. "Understandest thou what thou readest?"-Acts, viii. 30. THE THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT. THE collect for this Sunday is one of that set which were composed anew, and adopted instead of those which were rejected as containing erroneous doctrine. It was drawn up in 1662; and the expressions in it* resemble some very ancient (Latin) prayers for Advent, to this effect :-" Stir up, O Lord, our hearts to

prepare the ways of thy only-begotten Son, that by means of his advent we may be privileged to serve thee with purified minds." Another of these ancient Latin prayers is as follows:-" Purify our consciences, we pray thee, Almighty God, by daily visiting them, that, at the coming of thy Son our Lord, he may find in us a dwelling prepared for him."

This collect," adverting again" (as those of the two former weeks)" to the first coming of Christ in the flesh, and to his second coming to judgment, reminds us, that as there was a messenger to prepare his way for the one, so also there are ministers and stewards to make ready his way for the other; and furnishes us with a prayer, that as the former faithfully discharged his office at Christ's first coming, so the latter may perform theirs by way of preparation for his second. Who that first messenger was, and who the ministers and stewards now are, and how they are to perform their office in preparing the way of the Lord, the epistle informs us as to the latter point, and the gospel as to the former."+

From this day's EPISTLE we may learn,

1. Who are the officers appointed to make ready the way for Christ's coming to judgment, namely, the ministers and stewards of his holy mysteries, who are therefore to be received and respected accordingly. We are here bid so to "account of them as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God;" and so to think them worthy of double honour, as well for his sake to whom they belong, as for the word's sake about which they are employed. Their calling is the highest upon earth, their employment the noblest, and their message the most honourable; they are the ambassadors of Christ, sent to treat with men about their everlasting peace and salvation, And as a prince reckons himself honoured or affronted in the good or bad usage of his ambassadors, so Christ accounts himself respected or despised in the good or ill treatment of his ministers; and therefore

See Palmer on Ancient Liturgies.

† Dr. Hole.

the apostle gives a strict charge to all people to "know them that are over them in the Lord, and to admonish them, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake" (1 Thess. v. 13). And the author to the Hebrews exhorts us to "obey them that have the rule over us in the Lord, and submit ourselves; for they watch for our souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief" (Heb. xiii. 17).

2. If Christ's ministers are to make the way ready for his second coming, then we may learn, hence, to hearken to them, and receive their message; the words they deliver are from God, and therefore to be received with all reverence and veneration, and to be counted worthy of all acceptation. As the ministers and stewards of God's house are to be faithful in delivering their Master's will, so are the people to be careful of receiving and observing it: "He that heareth you," saith Christ," heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me" (Luke, x. 16); and dreadful will be the doom of all such as shall be found despisers of God and of Christ.

The GOSPEL contains the inquiries put to our Lord by John's disciples, and our Lord's testimony to the dignity of John the Baptist. In answer to these inquiries, which were probably suggested partly by the weakness of the faith of the Baptist, requiring some strong assurances to confirm it, and partly by a desire to strengthen the faith of his disciples, our Lord points to miracles as the evidence on which Christianity stands; and not miracles only, but to those very miracles which the Messiah was to perform. To refer them to these proofs was, therefore, the fittest answer our Lord could give to the question, "Art thou he that should come?" "These carried in them a sufficient conviction to all who would attend to them.

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But even these did not pretend to bear down prejudice and passion, peevish and resolute perverseness. Blessed are they that are not offended, because they submit to that proof which Almighty God hath given of his truth; and are content to hearken to reason, in despite of all the solicitations of the world and corrupt nature to the contrary. But still offended' many will be. Religion will always be spoken against; and the rock on which our hopes are built will continue ' a stone of stumbling to the unbelieving and disobedient.' And since we have fair warning that thus it will be, this ought not to unsettle us in our principles, but rather to confirm us in our belief of a Gospel, the truth of which is manifest, even in this particular too. It should awaken our care and circumspection, that while so many are ready to despise and take offence at Christ and his word, we be not found among them that contribute to, or give just occasion for it."*

Our Lord's testimony to the dignity of John the Baptist as his "messenger to prepare his way," reminds all, and especially ministers, to make ready the way to his second, as that harbinger did for his first coming. The call to "repentance," which John unceasingly uttered, should sound in our own ears, and penetrate our hearts, if we hope to be a people prepared for the Lord. To "cry aloud" this summons, is the one duty

• Dean Stanhope.

of Christian ministers: that they may be enabled to do so, with saving effect, is the subject of the Church's prayer in this day's collect.

EMBER DAYS, beginning 14th Dec.

There are certain seasons of the year set apart for imploring God's blessing, by prayer and fasting, upon the ordinations performed in the Church at such times; and this in conformity to the practice of the apostles, who, when they separated persons for the work of the ministry, prayed and fasted before they laid their hands on them. These ordination-fasts are observed four times in the year, viz. the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the first Sunday in Lent, after Whitsunday, after the fourteenth of September, and after the thirteenth of December; it being enjoined by a canon of the Church, that "deacons and ministers be ordained or made only upon the Sundays immediately following these ember-fasts."

Some derive the term ember from a German word, which signifies abstinence; others from one which signifies ashes, or sitting upon them. Dr. Mareschal derives it from a Saxon word, which signifies course of circuit; so that these fasts being not occasional, but returning every year in certain courses, may properly be said to be "ember-days," because fasts in course. The ember-days were formerly observed in different Churches with some variety, but were at last settled as they are now observed by the Council of Placentia, A. D. 1095.

St. Augustin, who lived in the fifth century, speaks of the ember-fasts, but mentions them only as observed in the diocese of Rome; from whence we may conclude, that the observation of them was not at that time general in the Church. The Council of Mentz, convened by Charlemagne in 813, mentions the emberweeks as a new establishment, introduced in France in conformity to the Roman Church. "The two prayers appointed for the ember-weeks, though the latter of them is found in the Scottish Liturgy,-were added to our book of Common Prayer only at the last review. The intention of the forms is sufficiently obvious: and as the ordination of ministers is a matter of primary importance, it is to be regretted that one or other of the forms is not more generally read on the Wednesday and Friday in the ember-week, in such of our parish churches as have service on those days. Whether they were intended to be read every day in the ember-weeks, or only on every ember-day in the week, is a question that has not universally been answered in the same way. The words of the rubric appear to countenance the former practice."*

It would be well if Christian ministers were to put their congregations in mind, as often as the ordination seasons of the Church approach, urging them to offer up those prayers with earnest zeal to the great Head of the Church. If this were done by the people with one heart and one mouth, we cannot but believe that the "dew of God's blessing" would descend upon our Zion; that his "holy name would be glorified, and his blessed kingdom enlarged." +

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The Cabinet.

THE LITURGY.-To excite you to join diligently, and with reverence, in the service of the Common Prayer, I need only guide your attention to the sublime extent of the application of its social character. It is not only in this house, in which you assemble, that in all its parts it is sociably performed; the same prayers and praises, in the same words, are offered, perhaps at the same hour, with the same faith, by ten thousand tongues, to the same God and Father of all. From all Christian parts of the globe the Amen resounds, which you here utter; and the doxology is raised, in which you are here called upon to bear a part. It is not in this age only in which you live, that this service conveys the devotions of Christians to heaven. In some of the ejaculations it contains, the first disciples breathed their praises and their wishes to the Most High. Its collects have, many of them, for many hundreds of years, been the vehicles of the public devotions of the Church. And upon some of its apostrophes has the last breath of distinguished martyrs trembled, whose piety, during their lives, was refreshed with its hymns and its psalms. It is not under the Gospel dispensation alone that some parts of this service have been used to express the common devotions of the faithful. There are hymns in it, which were sung by the saints under the Mosaic dispensation; and in the use of the Psalms particularly, the Church of the New Testament is found in society with the Church of the Old; for, in these sacred compositions, not the emotions of David's heart only were vented, but much of the worship of God's ancient people did consist. It is not only in the Church militant upon earth that this service, in some of its parts, is used. We have borrowed from the Church triumphant in heaven their gratulatory anthem, and their perpetual hymn; and have reason to believe that their voices are in concert with ours when they sing the song of the redeemed. How sublime is this view of the communion and fellowship of the Church, under the Mosaic and Christian dispensations, in different ages and in distant nations, on earth and in heaven, in the use of some part or other of that holy Liturgy, which it is our distinguishing felicity to have received from our fathers! Who would not wish, in the temple, to bear upon his lips those psalms and prayers in which the glorious company of the apostles, the goodly fellowship of the prophets, and the noble army of martyrs," have uttered their devotions to God! How dead must he be to the finest associations which can affect the mind, who is not animated to a devout and fervent performance of his part of the service of the sanctuary by the consideration, that upon this same censer, which the Church holds out to him, incense hath been put by those hands which are now extended before the throne of the Almighty; and that, as its smoke ascended, those eyes were lifted up to heaven, which are now fixed upon the visible glory of God and the Lamb!-Bishop Dehon.

ON PRIVATE PRAYER.-Thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy chamber, and shut the door. And the reason is plain. He who would pray, must first retire the spirit of the world and the spirit of prayer are contrary the one from the other, and experience will teach any one that he cannot well pray in a crowd. Business, or pleasure, or even common conversation, if it be about the things of this world, and continue for any long time, will strangely indispose the mind for devotion; and the soul, before she can take her flight to heaven, must plume and balance her wings by holy meditation: she must rally her scattered and dissipated thoughts, and fix them on the business she is going about: she must consider the nature of God, to whom she is to pray; of herself, who is to pray to him; and of those things for which she is to pray to him; she must know the sins she has

been guilty of, to confess them; and the graces she stands in need of, to petition for them. All this is not to be done but by deep meditation, which is the mother of devotion, is the daughter of retirement. They who do not meditate, cannot pray; and they who do not retire, can do neither.-Bishop Horne.

DROUGHT. The goodness and power of God are never, I believe, so universally acknowledged as at the end of a long drought. Man is naturally a self-sufficient animal, and in all concerns that seem to lie within the sphere of his own ability, thinks little, or not at all, of the need he always has of protection and furtherance from above. But he is sensible that the clouds will not assemble at his bidding, and that, though the clouds assemble, they will not fall in showers, because he commands them. When, therefore, at last the blessing descends, you shall hear, even in the streets, the most irreligious and thoughtless with one voice exclaim, "Thank God!" confessing themselves indebted to his favour, and willing, at least so far as words go, to give him the glory. I can hardly doubt, therefore, that the earth is sometimes parched, and the crops endangered, in order that the multitude may not want a memento to whom they owe them, nor absolutely forget the Power on which all depend for all things.-Cowper.



For the Church of England Magazine.

O JESU CHRIST! whose herald-prophet went
Through Judah's desert and by Jordan's stream,
Thy coming, great Messias, to proclaim,
And lead a sinful nation to repent!

His zeal, his warning voice, once more impart
From east to west, from south to farthest north;
Send, Lord, thine own anointed heralds forth
To make a highway for thee in man's heart.

That when th' archangel's mighty trump shall sound,
And thou thyself in final pomp shalt come
To sit in judgment, and proclaim man's doom,
We may accepted in thy sight be found.

K. T.

RESTORE to God his due in tithe and time;
A tithe purloined cankers the whole estate.
SUNDAYS observe; think when the bells do chime,
'Tis angels' music; therefore come not late.

God then deals blessings: if a king did so,
Who would not haste, nay, give, to see the show?

When once thy foot enters the church, be bare-
God is more there than thou; for thou art there

Only by his permission. Then beware,

And make thyself all reverence and fear.

Kneeling ne'er spoiled silk stocking: quit thy state,

All equal are within the church's gate.

In time of service seal up both thine eyes,

And send them to thy heart; that spying sin, They may weep out the stains by them did rise; These doors being shut, all by the ear comes in. Who marks in church-time others' symmetry, Makes all their beauty his deformity.

Let vain or busy thoughts have there no part;
Bring not thy plough, thy plats, thy pleasure thither.
Christ purged the Temple; so must thou thy heart;
All worldly thoughts are but thieves met together
To cozen thee. Look to thy action well;
For churches either are our heaven or hell.

Judge not the preacher, for he is thy judge:

If thou mislike him, thou conceivest him not.
God calleth preaching folly. Do not grudge
To pick out treasures from an earthen pot.

The worst speak something good; if all want


God takes a text, and preacheth patience. He that gets patience, and the blessing which

Preachers conclude with, hath not lost his pains. He that by being at church escapes the ditch, Which he might fall in by companions, gains.

He that loves God's abode, and, to combine
With saints on earth, shall one day with them



FOLLY OF ATHEISM.-None but the fool will say "There is no God." Kircher, the astronomer, having an acquaintance who denied the existence of a Supreme Being, took the following method to convince him of his error. Expecting him on a visit, he placed a handsome celestial globe in a part of the room where it could not escape the notice of his friend, who, on observing it, inquired whence it came, and who was the maker. "It was not made by any person," said the astronomer; "it came there by chance." "That is impossible," replied the sceptic; "you jest." Kircher, after persisting some time in his assertion, took occasion to reason with his friend upon his atheistical principles. "You will not admit," said he, "that a small body originated in mere chance; and yet you contend that those heavenly bodies, to which it bears only a faint and diminutive resemblance, came into existence without author or design." He pursued this chain of reasoning till his friend was totally confounded, and cordially acknowledged the absurdity of his notions. Paley, in his Natural Philosophy, successfully pursues the same train of reasoning, on the supposition of a watch being found in some remote place, inquiry being made how the mechanism was formed, and how it came there.

LOCUSTS." And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey." Matt. iii. 4.The south-east wind constantly brought with it innumerable flights of locusts, but those which fell on this occasion, we were informed, were not of the predatory sort. They were three inches long from the head to the extremity of the wing, and their body and head of a bright yellow. The locust which destroys vegetation is of a larger kind, and of a deep red. as the wind had subsided, the plain of Bushire was covered by a great number of its poorer inhabitants, men, women, and children, who came out to gather locusts, which they eat. They also dry and salt them, and afterwards sell them in the bazaars as the food of the lowest peasantry.-Morier's Second Journey.

As soon

BABYLON.-Isaiah, xiii. 21. "But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there."-In my second visit to Birs Nimrood, while passing rapidly over the last tracks of the ruin-spread ground, at some little distance from the outer bank of its quadrangular boundary, my party suddenly halted, having descried several dark objects moving along the summit of its

hill, which they construed into dismounted Arabs on the look-out, while their armed brethren must be lying concealed under the southern brow of the mound. Thinking this very probable, I took out my glass to examine, and soon distinguished that the causes of our alarm were two or three majestic lions, taking the air upon the heights of the pyramid. Perhaps I never had beheld so sublime a picture to the mind, as well as to the eye. These were a species of enemy which my party were accustomed to dread without any panic fear; and while we continued to advance, though slowly, the hallooing of the people made the noble beasts gradually change their position, till, in the course of twenty minutes, they totally disappeared. We then rode close up to the ruins; and I had once more the gratification of ascending the awful sides of the tower of Babel. In my progress I stopped several times to look at the broad prints of the feet of the lions, left plainly in the clayey soil; and, by the track, I saw that if we had chosen to rouse such royal game, we need not go far to find their lair. But, while thus actually contemplating these savage tenants, wandering amidst the towers of Babylon, and bedding themselves within the deep cavities of her once magnificent temple, I could not help reflecting on how faithfully the various prophecies had been fulfilled, which relate, in the Scriptures, to the utter fall of Babylon, and abandonment of the place; verifying in fact the very words of Isaiah. Sir R. K. Porter. RELIGIOUS PROVISION IN FRANCE. -On a very vague and general survey, the population, amounting to thirty-two millions, is considered as composed of Catholics and Protestants; the former claiming nearly thirty millions, and the latter variously estimated from two to three millions. Of the Jews, whose teachers are paid by the state, and of Infidels, who, I fear, constitute, under various disguises, a very large proportion of the male population, especially in the middling ranks of society, no account is taken in this calculation. For these thirty millions of nominal Catholics there are thirty thousand priests-one priest for every thousand partly paid by the state, and partly by fees received for the various offices of religion, the most productive of which is that of saying masses for the dead. For the two or three millions of professed Protestants, there are between four and five hundred churches, and somewhat more than three hundred pastors, who receive from the state a sum which averages 25,000l. per annum. These rough calculations exhibit merely the palpable and economical statistics of religion. Rough and general as they are, however, they evince a melancholy inadequacy of provision for the spiritual wants of the Protestant population; presenting, as they do, little more than the average of one pastor for ten thousand souls."-Rev. I. Duries.

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JUDGES, V. 11.-" They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water.”—At three in the afternoon we arrived at El Arish. About an hour before we reached it, we stopped at some wells of fresh water, where we found a great assemblage of camels, and many Tarabeen Arabs, who appeared to stop all passengers. They entered into a violent dispute with our conductors, which we did not understand; but they took no notice of us. They presently levied a contribution on the other Arabs who accom

panied us; and certainly we should have shared the same fate, had it not been for the appearance of our arms, as the chief followed us all the way to El Arish, surveying our baggage with the most thievish inquisi tiveness."-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.



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EVERY one knows that when children are brought to be baptised, they are required, by their sureties or sponsors, to profess their faith in the Gospel, and to engage to keep God's holy commandments all the days of their life. The promises thus made are as binding on the infants as if they were themselves able, with their own lips, to ratify them. But not only is there a duty incumbent on children in consequence of their baptism, but also a very important one belonging to the godfathers and godmothers, which it is my object in this paper to enforce. This duty is inculcated in a passage of St. Augustine, which I quote the rather because it is one of a multitude of testimonies that the use of sponsors is no novelty, but was allowed and approved among the disciples of the early Church. He is urgent with them, "not only by example, but by actual instruction, to teach those for whom they answer. . . . After they have been baptised (he proceeds), they must never cease to admonish them, and train them in the great duties of chastity, humility, and temperance; they must thus shew that they are their sureties; for they have answered, in their stead, that they would renounce the devil, his pomps, and his works." Our Church is extremely solicitous to provide, as far as possible, proper persons to answer in behalf of those whom she admits to baptism. She therefore directs (vid. canon 29) that no parent shall be godfather for his own child; in order that others, in addition to the parents, may be pledged to bring up children in the nurture and admonition of



PRICE 1 d.

the Lord; and further, that no 66 person be admitted godfather or godmother to any child... before the said person so undertaking hath received the holy communion." This, too, is in accordance with the practice of the primitive Christians, who excluded from the office "persons who either were yet never in full communion with the Church or else such as had forfeited the privileges of their baptism and church-communion by their errors, or crimes, or incapacity." (Vid. Bingham, b. xi. c. 8.) Further, our Church prescribes a particular address, at the time of baptism, to those who have just promised in a child's name. "It is your parts and duties to see that this infant be taught, so soon as he shall be able to learn, what a solemn vow, promise, and profession, he hath here made by you. And that he may know these things the better, ye shall call upon him to hear sermons; and chiefly ye shall provide that he may learn the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, in the vulgar tongue, and all other things which a Christian ought to know and believe, to his soul's health; and that this child may be virtuously brought up to lead a godly and a Christian life."

Now, when the solemnity of the rite is considered, the largeness of the promise made, and the care of the Church in charging the sponsors with their duty, surely it must be allowed that they are, by the strongest reasons, bound to exercise a watchful superintendence over the spiritual welfare of the And can children for whom they answer. such persons be excused if they accept the office merely as a compliment, and do not trouble themselves to fulfil its requirements?

2 H

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