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are naturally those of pity toward as your narrow and illiberal prethe slaves of form and here let judices will permit, you have an me congratulate those clergymen honest desire to imitate Hims who of the Church of England who omit went about doing good.” . the Litany! They have, we may .
I am, &c. .. hope intentionally, made one ad
C.U. vance toward the freedom we en- 6th Jan. 1814. joy! If I were competent to the task, I would lay down a few rules whereby they might gradually en- A COMPANION TO THE COMMOF graft further, upon present innb '. PRAYER BOOK. vation, and at last purify the Church service of much of its pre
PART 1. CHAP. I. SECT. III. sent lumber. The omission, how. ON THE GENERAL CONFESSION, ever, of that cold, dull, and tiresoine composition, the Litany, is a
[Continued from Vol. V. Page 343.] good beginning; and those who The form of Confession made can begin invasion there, may safe- use of in our daily service, is drawu ly be intrusted with the details of up with the intention of affording the campaign.
to each individual an opportunity And this reminds me that at our of confessing publicly, in general Chapel matters are rendered as pa- language, those sins and failures, latable as possible by alteration the particulars of which are known and omission. · I shall notice only only, and, perhaps, are only proper one alteration. We have the word to be known, to God and his own unprepared substituted for sudden. conscience. Endless indeed is the
When first I noticed this devia variety of error, and as various are tion from the printed Prayer-book, the wants, the infirmities, and the I asked myself, “ How can death temptations of Christians: yet be unprepared ? It may be un- there is, notwithstanding, a com. prepared for; and in that sense I mon nature in man--a nature too suppose those bunglers the Re- corrupted and depraved in its comformers (John Knox and others) mon stock, which gives, so to speak, used the word ' sudden'but how a common and generical character death can be unprepared, I am at, to his wickedness and to his wants,.. a loss to understand." Convinced, and so much of similarity to the however, that our Minister must manner in which, when tempted, know better in these matters than he is drawn away by his lusts, or I can, I have given up all doubt. enticed by the common enemy, upon the subject, and am resolved, that it is found not to be impracticato prefers from unprepared death," ble to express, in the same general to the Church method, 6c from language what a thousand hearts, death sudden and unlooked for.” in different ways, experience, and
Before I conclude, Sir, I would what a thousand consciences, each fix your attention on the liberality in application to its own particular |_of our book-society. We take circumstances, are lamenting in your Magazine, avowedly a Church- secret before God. publication ; and, by the way, a So much has been already said, great stickler for Church forms and in the foregoing reflections on the regulations. You will duly appre- introductory sentences and Exciate this proof of our catholic hortation, upon the subject of the spirit, which arises not, I verily confession of sins, that I shall, in believe, from a predilection in any this place, confine myself to a few of us for their lordships the Bishops; general observations upon the lanbut from a conviction that, as far guage of the prayer before us..
Companion to the Common Prayer Book. [MARCH, “ Almighty and most merciful (quam longissime) gone from ori=”: Father, we have erred and strayed ginal righteousness, and is of his from thy ways like lost sheep.” own nature inclined to evil.” « And The Scriptures fully warrant us to this corruption of nature," she address in this manner the Al- maintains, “ doth remain, yea, in mighty God. I quote but one them that are regenerate.” This passage: As a father pitieth his own testimony of the Church, moreover, children, so is the Lord merciful to is fully supported by Scripture. It them that fear him. The compari- declares, that every imagination of son of a sinner who has deviated the thoughts of man's) heart is from the ways of God to a lost and only evil continually : that we are wandering sheep, will be also re- all BY NATURE the children of cognised as a very frequent meta- wrath : of the wrath, remember, phor in the sacred writings: All of a just God, who would not be we like sheep have gone astray. I angry without a cause. St. Paul have gone astray like a sheep that is also asserts, that though he delost. What so dependent upon the lighted in the law of God, after the care of its keeper as the animal inward man (a description, I conhere mentioned ?--so helpless when ceive, which can only apply to him lost, and so destitute of all re- in a converted state), yet he saw source to recover its way, or to another law in his members warring provide for its safety ? and yet against the law of his mind. how easily induced to wander! " I know,” says he again, “ that and though often restored by the in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth shepherd's care, still inclined to no good thing." If this be accustray! How true an emblem of rate, the language of the prayer the weakness and frailty of man! before us is not too strong; and
“ We have followed too much they who feel it unsuitable to what the devices and desires of our own they conceive themselves to be, hearts,". This is, in fact, a plain ought rather to suspect their proavowal of a wicked and depraved ficiency in self-knowledge,-no nature: it is assumed, that the de- easy task! than to dispute the vices and desires of the heart are doctrines of the Church, or seek to essentially bad. To have followed evade their force by some umnathem, is the guilt confessed. For tural exposition. The same Scripthe expression, too much, does not tures which say that the imaginadenote that the guilt consists only tions of the heart are only evil, in the degree in which men follow say also, that the heart is deceitful the devices and desires of their above all things, and desperately own hearts, as if, in a small de- wicked ; who can know it * ? gree, it had been allowable; but it “ We have offended against thy is expressive of the deep regret holy law. We have left undone and self-upbraiding with which the those things which we ought to penitent looks back and reflects have done, and we have done those upon his wanderings.
things which we ought not to have It is to be feared, indeed, that done." In many things we offend many of the nominal menubers of all, says St. James : 0! who can tell our Church are not aware of this how oft he offendeth? observes an. truth, and will be very far from other confessor--and one who had agreeing to this debasing view of deep experience in the things of human nature :-as having suffered, God. It is not, indeed, as was obin respect to the things of God, a served before, the spiritual Chris. total depravity. Such, however, is tian, whose knowledge is sounding the doctrine of the Church of England: “ That man is very far
* Jer, xvii. 9.
whose aim is high, who keeps his hast destroyed thyself, but in me is heart with diligence, that will ob- thy help found. When we were yet ject to the suitableness of the lan- without strength, Christ died for the guage which the Church has pro- ungodly. You hath he quickened vided for his use. And let the ad- who were dead in trespasses and vocates for the sufficiency of human sins. No man can come to me, exvirtue, or for perfection of acquire- cept the Father which has sent me ments in the ways of grace, study draw him. And, in what we may diligently what those holy laws are, call the progress of this state of of which the transgression is sin. convalescence, we hear the AposLet them carefully weigh the ex. tle exclaim, Wretched man that I position of several of these laws in am, who shall deliver me from the our Lord's sermon on the inount. body of this death? I thank God Let them remark the humble ac- through Jesus Christ our Lord. . knowledgments of St. Paul in the Hence the propriety and necesseventh chapter of his Epistle to the sity of the following appeal to the Romans, where he who once made mercy and grace of God, as the his boast of the law, as the ground only resource: “ But thou, O of his confidence before God, is Lord, have mercy upon us, miser. brought by the teaching of the Di. able sinners. Spare thou them, O vine Spirit, to discern its extent, God, which confess their faults ; its spirituality, its' sin-discovering restore thou them that are penipower, its universal sentence of tent." And, what is of the utmost condemnation upon all the chil. importance to the encouragement dren of men. The law is spiritual, of the afflicted soul, we can add, but I am carnal. The command. “ According to thy promises dement which was ordained for life I clared unto mankind in Christ Jesu found to be unto death.
our Lord.” The promises of the “ And there is no health in us." forgiveness of 'sins, and of the rea Health, in the language of our storation to spiritual health, which translators, sometimes signifies are made to them who repent and (when it answers to 1970) the confess their sins, are so numerous means of restoring health, the re- in Scripture, that we need not remedy or medicine by which a cure fer to any in particular. The misu is effected. Hence the word Health sion of the Son of God especially seems to have acquired the mean- embraces this object : Jesus Christ ing of “ Salvation spiritual and came into the world to save sinners! temporal *.”. Accordingly we read Great, therefore, is our happiin other parts of the Liturgy, ness, that, in approaching to the “ Thy saving health"-" The throne of grace for mercy and for healthful spirit of thy grace.” help in time of need, we come not Now it is the doctrine of our in an uncertainty respecting what Church, that man cannot save manner of reception we shall meet
himself either from the guilt or from with, but invited by promises, as· the pollution of pis sins, so as to sured of a successful hearing by
recover the health of his soul. the terms of a covenant, or solemn “ The condition of man,” it teaches engagement, into which it has us, after the fall of Adam, is such, pleased God to enter with believers that he cannot turn or prepare in Jesus Christ. himself by his natural strength and The Confession ends with a pegood works to faith and calling tition for divine influence: And upon God; and thus we read in grant, О most merciful Father, for the word of God, O Israel, thou his sake, that we may hereafter live
a godly, righteous, and sober life, .. * Johnson,
to the glory of thy holy name."
We remark, here, the absence of liath seen, how can he love God, all vows and protestations of whom he hath not seen* ? amendment and future obedience ; and have not charity, I am noa language so common among in- thing t. Love worketh no ill to his experienced petitioners for mercy. neighbour. If thou bringest thy It is, indeed, true, that there can gift to the altar, and rememberest be no real repentance without an there that thy brother hath (ught earnest determination to forsake against thee, leave thu gift before all sin ; nor can that be a sincere the altar ; first go and be reconciled confession of guilt, which is not to thy brother, and then conie and accompanied with a firm resolu- offer thy gifts. Soberness, in this tion and intention, as far as in us place, as in our public translation lies, of incurring that guilt no of the Scriptures, signifies sobriety more. Yet, nevertheless, such is and temperance in general : that the sense which the 'enlightened discipline of self, which unless a Christian has of his own weak- man exercises, he will neither be ness, and of the treachery of his in a condition to hold communion deceitful heart, that he dares not with his God and to serve him, nor arge the Almighty to pardon what to discharge with propriety his duis past in consideration of what he ties towards his fellow-creatures. takes upon himself to do for thé The grace of God, which bringeth time to come; but he accompanies salvation, has appeared unto alb his confession of sin with earnest men, teaching us, that, denying unentreaties to God, that for Christ's godliness and worldly lust, we should sake he may be kept from sin and live soberly, righteously, and godly, preserved in holiness ;--that he in this present world, looking for may be influenced to lead a godly, that blessed hope, and the glorious righteous, and sober life, that so appearing of the great Gad our Sa. he may be able to glorify his mer- viour, Jesus Christ. ciful God.
D. E • It is hardly necessary to add, that the terms godly, righteous, ON THE CEREMONIAL LAW wber, as applied to life, embrace the three grand divisions of the
. .: Hebrews, v. l. whole duty of man, as due to God, for every nigh priests taken from his neichbour, and himself God? among men, is ardained for mer liness denotes a life of friendshid : 1 things pertaining to God, trith God, or true piety: it im
that he may offer bath gifts and plies' a heart actuated by the sua sacrifices for sins. preme love of him, arising from The language of the New Tes. à sense of his love to us in Clirist. tament being very often figurative, down. It implies the practice of refer- and abounding with metaphors ring all things to his will and borrowed from the ceremonial law pleasure; and such habits of devo- of Moses, we cannot in many fon, that every duty and every cases understand its meaning suffering, and all the common in without an acquaintance with the cidents of life,' are sanctified by nature and design of the sacred the word of God and prayer. ordinances of that law. Righteousness regards honesty and Infidels in every age have ridiintegrity of conduct towards men, culed these Srdinances, and rewithout which the profession of presented them as beneath the no godliness,' we are authorized to tice of a God of infinite wisdom': say, is a deception, and our wor. they have pretended that it is utship unacceptable to God: For he terly incredible he should appoint that loveth not his brother, whom he * 1 Joba, ir. 20. * See 1 Cor. xiii.
so many useless and insignificant is illustrated and explained by re, ceremonies. The rites of the ce- ference to the Levitical. priestremonial law will, however, appear hood; and when St. Paul calls. trifling, and unimportant to none Jesus a priest, who was not one libut those who are grossly ignorant terally, he plainly intimates that of their import and design ; for his office was shadowed out by that when they are considered (accord of the sons of Aaron. The ing to the interpretation put upon priests in general were types of them in the New Testament) as Christ; but the high priest was bearing witness to the Lord Jesus peculiarly so above the rest, and Christ; as describing his offices, his office is thus described by the and the most important blessings Apostle: “ For every high priest of his great salvation, then they taken from among men is ordained appear to be the contrivance of for men in things pertaining to Infinite Wisdom : they appear to God, that he may offer both gifts be of vast atility and importance and sacrifices for sins.” From indeed! It should be observed, this general account of the high also, that these rites were instituted priest's office, it seems that he was during the infancy, or at least du- an intercessor or mediator between ring the minority of the church, God and the people in general. when the people of God were but But why sliould one man be ap. babes in knowledge, and incapable pointed to intercede for others ? of comprehending abstract truths; Why could not every man intertherefore God graciously conde- cede as well for himself? Cer-, scended to instruct them by types tainly there could be no propriety and similitudes, which were level in this institution, had it not been to their capacities, and calculated intended to prefigure the promised to affect their dull apprehensions.' Redeemer. In order to keep up And as spiritual things, which are the expectation of that divine In-, not the objects of sense, can only tercessor who was to come, it be represented to the mind by pleased God “ to ordain” one high images taken from natural things, priest after another, who should there was peculiar need of these intercede for the people in general. types in those early ages. Many Jesus Christ himself is the great, in their interpretation of Scripture original; and all others who at emblems, it must be confessed, any time executed the priestly ofhave indulged their fancy to an fice, were but types of him. Let unwarrantable extent; and have us, then, inquire how far these thereby incurred the censure of all types answered to the great Antijudicious persons. But while we type. attend strictly to the hints given in The priesthood under the law the New Testament respecting the being entailed on the family of import of the ancient types, we Aaron alone, the genealogy of that, can be in no danger of putting a family was preserved with the wrong interpretation upon them. greatest 'care, because no one was,
The first institution of the cere-, permitted to execute the sacred ofmonial law which claims our no- fice whose lineal descent from Aatice is that respecting the priesta' ron was not well ascertained. This hood. No one can read the Epistle, signified, that as the family of our to the Hebrews attentively, with-, great High Priest was clearly deout being convinced, that the Le- fined in the ancient prophecies, vitical priesthood was ordained to his genealogy should be well known, prefigure the priesthood of Christ; and attested: St. Matthew, therefor throughout that Epistle the nan forte, begins his Gospel with an acture and design of his priesthood count of “the generation of Jesus * CHRIST. GUARD. VOL. VI.