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Communications received after the 20th instant cannot be attended to in the next Number, but will

be answered or acknowledged in the Number following.

J. W.-We do rot at the moment call to mind any "instance on record of an ancient monarch making a decree of a nature at all similar to that of King Darius which led to the condemnation of the Prophet Dar el, as relate 1 in the sixth chapter." It is useless locking to Greek and Roman history, because the emperors seldon troubled themselves about the religion of their people, and when they did, dared not issue such an edict. One must look only to Eastern history for anything approaching it.

But the right answer to your friend's doubts is, that we have only in the history so much told as is necessary to understanding the narrative, to which the ore fact on which such stress is laid was purely incidental. There may have been, and [robably was, some good reason for the edict, and it is very possible, therefore, that it is simply our ignorance of the cause which makes the fact appear strange.

J. H.-Thanks for the hymn. Your reply was unfortunately mislaid with others.

A.V.W.-A press of matter, which had been some time in type, and which we wished to clear off at the end of the year, obliged us to omit two or three communications which it was our intention to have inserted in the December number.

X. Y. 7.-The short tale entitled "Bearing the Cross," will be inserted in the February or March number, but the remainder should be sent first to the Editor.

E. C.-There is no good book which we can recommend. There are one or two books on Illuminating for MS., such as Jewitt's, and a large and expensive work published by Messrs. Day and Son, but these will only help you indirectly for the texts and scrolls. An Alphabet, published by Masters, will help you for forms of letters. Experience must be your guide in choosing colours. We shall give shortly some forms of scrolls. In our last "Notes for the Month," the printers carelessly inserted "Christmas Day" in small type, and we are sorry to say we did not discover their unfortunate error till too late.

T. B. PRETON. We cannot answer all the questions we receive, as our space is limited, but we gladly give a preference to working men like yourself, whom we are glad to reckon among our correspondents. The er dowments which support the bishops and clergy in England are in no case derived from grants from the present revertes of the Government, or from taxes levied for their support. The incomes of the bishops are derived from estates which are the private proj crty of their sees, as legally and entirely as lose held by any gentleman in the country; having been granted by the Crown in past ages, or bestowed by other benefactors. In most cases the varying revenues arising from these estates have now been exchanged for fixed annual payments from a common fund created by the consolidation of the proceeds of episcopal estates, with those of many suppressed canonries

and other offices in various cathedrals, and managed by a body called the Ecclesiastical Commission. The incomes attached to the old livings of the clergy are derived in most cases (excepting some provided for by special endowment in lands or houses) from tithes; that is, the tenth of all produce of the land, of cattle, &c. The right to tithes rests, firstly, upon the Divine injunctions given in the Old Testament, and the practice which was before the Mosaic Law; secondly, upon principles enforced in the New Testament, as when St. Paul says that the Lord hath ordained that they who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel; thirdly, upon universal Christian practice and obligation; and fourthly, in our own country, upon custom of voluntary offerings existing in the eighth century, and upon positive law, enforcing the obligation of tithes, enacted in the ninth century. These tithes have, and chiefly of late years, been commuted (or, exchanged) for money payments, according to a settled scheme of valuation, from the occupiers of land in the several parishes. They become, therefore, a charge for the maintenance of religion upon the owners, not occupiers, of landed estates; since in the renting or buying lands regard is always had to the amount payable for tithes, as well as other outgoings, and the rent or price is proportionably lowered. Should tithes be abolished, rents would be of course at once raised, and the landlords would be the only gainers. In the case of recently created parishes and districts, the endowments (in most cases miserably insufficient) have partly (in a few cases) been provided for by grants of money made on several occasions by Parliament forty or fifty years, partly from Queen Anne's Bounty, (a part of the private royal revenue proceeding from a tax on the beneficed clergy, given up by Queen Anne for this purpose,) and chiefly from private subscriptions and benefactions. Church-rates form no part of the maintenance of the clergy; they are rates levied for keeping up the buildings of the churches, and providing the necessaries for divine service. They are the national recognition of religion; have been paid, in some shape, since the times of the Saxons, and were recognised as due by the common law and custom of England in the thirteenth century; provide for every man a house wherein to worship God, and a right to a seat therein; and, in the case of those who dissent from the Church, form but a very trifling payment for the blessings of having the Christian religion established amongst us, and recognised as the law of the land. Most of the common accusations in relation to these subjects brought against the Church are merely the results of gross ignorance or wilful malice; and we shall be glad if we can be useful in answering or exposing such objectior s or slander.

SPERO. We thank you for the third part of the Clay-cum-Stickley, and regret that we have to postpone it to next month's number. We have already more standing over in type from our last number than is convenient to our printers.

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The feast of the Circumcision is celebrated by the Church to commemorate the active obedience of Jesus Christ in fulfilling all righteousness, which is one branch of the meritorious cause of our redemption.

To-day His saving work began in blood, and being circumcised He undertook to fulfil the Law, which He alone perfectly fulfilled, and so shewed the Law to be "holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." This day He received also His saving Name of Jesus, the Name at which every knee shall bow; and, therefore, in the Name of Jesus, our Saviour and Redeemer, we begin the new year; praying Him for that circumcision of the spirit which will enable us to live or die unto the Lord, according to His will. The proper services are all very suitable to the day. The first Lesson for the Morning gives an account of the institution of Circumcision: and the Gospel, of the Circumcision of Christ: the first Lesson at Evening, and the second Lesson and Epistle, all tend to the same end, viz. that since the circumcision of the flesh is now abrogated, God hath no respect of persons, nor requires any more of us than the circumcision of the heart.



"The Greek word Epiphany signifies 'manifestation,' and has been of old used for this day wherein the star did appear to manifest Christ to the wise men. There are three manifestations of our Lord, commemorated jointly by the Church on the Feast of Epiphany, all of which, St. Chrysostom says, happened on the same day. though not in the same year. The first manifestation was of the star, the Gentiles' guide to Christ; the second, the manifestation of the Trinity at His Baptism, Luke iii. 22; the third, the manifestation of His glory or divinity, at His first miracle, of turning water into wine, John ii. 11."

This festival is one of peculiar interest to those who realize the great power of God, by which the Gentiles have received the Gospel. On this day came the firstfruits of the Gentiles to pay homage to the new-born King of nations, thus rendering an early representative acknowledgment of His lawful right in behalf of all the Gentile world. As for us, who dwell in these "uttermost parts of the earth," which were peculiarly given to the only-begotten Son for His inheritance, there seems a great propriety that we should keep the feast with a willing and a holy worship; presenting ourselves before God, on its recurrence, as living witnesses that those who sat in darkness have seen a great Light." It is scarcely necessary to say that in ancient tradition these wise men were kings, (Ps. lxxii. 10). Bishop Taylor calls them "the Levantine Princes," and adopts the beautiful comment of St. Hilary, that their gifts were symbolical:-the gold, the tribute to a king; the incense, of adoration to God; the myrrh, of recognition as a mortal and a man of sorrows. With Twelfth-night the Christmas holidays conclude.


On the Sundays after the Fpiphany, two leading ideas seem to pervade the teaching of the Church.

One begins by setting forth the folly and misery of the ways and practices of those who, not having had, or rejecting, the glorious light of divine revelation for their guide, follow the vain imaginations of their own hearts. And then it proceeds to shew in what manner those who have this light ought to conduct them


selves, both in regard to their daily walk and conversation, and also in regard to the peculiar privileges to which they are entitled by reason of the possession of that true Light which lighteneth every man that cometh into the world. The other brings before us, both in the Lessons generally, and especially in the Gospel, some manifestation of our blessed Lord in relation to His Church and people, commencing with His manifestation as our pattern of humility and obedience, and ending with His final appearance as the Judge of all mankind.

To-day the Lessons pour contempt on the makers of idols, and those who put their trust in them; while the chosen servants of God are encouraged with the promise of an abundant outpouring of that Holy Spirit, by whose aid they shall "both perceive and know the things they ought to do," and also have "grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same." The Epistle calls upon all who have the grace of God manifested to them, to present their bodies as living sacrifices to God, avoiding conformity to the world, and to live humbly, and in the true spirit of unity with each other. The Gospel manifests our blessed Lord as doing, perfectly, the will of His Father; and as our pattern of humility, hoth in vouchsafing to hold conversation as a learner with the Jewish doctors, and in His subjection to human guardianship while He Himself was the supreme Guardian and Ruler of all things both in heaven and in earth.


The attentive worshipper will be quite able to detect for himself the special texts of the Epiphany season as they occur in the Lessons.

We have, in the first Lesson, the reference to a "Light of the people," and the promise, "The isles shall wait upon Me, and on Mine arm shall they trust," and many others. The Morning Lesson calls upon "all who follow after righteousness," to hearken to the words of the prophet, who sets before them the Lord their God, as the supreme Governor of "all things in heaven and earth;" at Evening Prayer our thoughts are carried by a rapid, but most intelligible transition-just as were those of the three favoured disciples from the mountain of transfiguration and glory to that of crucifixion and shame-to the consideration of the babe at Bethlehem, growing up "as a root out of a dry ground, having no form nor comeliness;" no longer worshipped by adoring kings, but "despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.' The shadows of Lent and Passion-week are allowed for a moment to fall upon the glories of Advent and Epiphany, lest in His momentary earthly exultation we should forget the character and sufferings of Him "whose we are, and whom we serve." We must work and suffer with Him, if we would also reign with Him.


All on whom the light of the Epiphany has shined, are now earnestly invited, as those who thirst in a dry country, to come to their Saviour, and prove for themselves how gracious He is, and with what abundant watchfulness He is ever ready to look with mercy on our infirmities, and to stretch forth His "right hand to help and defend us in all our dangers and necessities." The Epistle continues the teaching of that of last Sunday, by exhorting us to an active exercise of the gifts we have severally received, and urging upon us the practice of many Christian virtues. The Gospel manifests our Saviour exerting His divine power in healing, by the simple expression of His will, one of the outward evils which have fallen upon mankind through sin; and in the case of the centurion's servant, by accepting the sacrifice of faith offered by that son of the stranger, He verifies the prediction of the Evening Lesson.


Of other saints we celebrate the martyrdom; but in the case of him who was "in deaths oft," and who "died daily," we commemorate the event in which he first learned what great things he was to suffer for Christ's sake. As the conversion of St. Paul was wonderful in itself, so it was highly beneficial to the Church of Christ. For while other Apostles had their particular provinces, he had the care of all the churches; and by his indefatigable labours contributed very much to the propagation of the Gospel throughout the world.

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