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This my humble attempt has not been successful except in very few instances. I always lament my own insutticiency in the performance of my duty as a clergyman, and indeed when as a body, the clergy consider the great responsibility attached to their sacred order, they may well exclaim" Who is sufficient for these things ?" I ain now fully resolved after prefacing the inefficacy of my late attempts; to read the Bishop of London's letter from the desk, being fully assured of the great superiority of his lordship’s intellectual talents to my own, and that as the worthy bishop in his own peculiarly good manner bas invited his clergy to recommend to their several flocks the absolute necessity of their kneeling in prayer ; so by availing myself of the labours of his valuable pen, my parishioners may profit by his judicious instructions.
I shall beg leave to conclude by expressing iny earnest wish, that the vineyard which God's own right hand hath planted in this united kingdom, may be cultivated by able and wise pastors.
P CLERICUS SUFFOLCIEN$1$.
Of the Necessity of CONFIRMATIOX.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MA
Sie, Il F you, or some of your very learned and respectable
correspondents have the late Rev. and learned Mr. Jones's works at hand, it will be rendering me and many others a great kindness, if you will read his Essay on Confirmation, found in the 3d Vol. and be pleased to give your sentiments on his doctrine in that essay. While the Episcopal Church of Scotland remained nonsurant, all those of the episcopal persuasion, but who approved of the revolution, were dissenters from the Scotch episcopal church, and were therefore deprived of
the means of being confirmed.-Among those dissenters, it was held, that by communicating; all the benefits of confirmation were secured, except the impression which the solemnity of the act is so well calculated to make on the young mind. One, from reading Mr. Jones's essay, is led to think, that it was his opinion, and surely his opinion will have great weight with every sincere churchman, that there is something still more essential in the act.
Your complying with this request, will much oblige, in particular, Your obedient Servant,
A Reader and SUBSCRIBER. 15th March, 1805.
Essays illustrative of the Natural History of the
On the ORIGINAL FORMATION of the Earth.
(Continued from Vol. VII. p. 286.) Theme "HE'oreation of Light was immediately followed by
the establishment of a “ Firmament in the midst of the waters, to divide the waters which were under the firmament, from the waters which were above the firma. ment."
The word translated in our version firmament is in the original sopr, which signifies an expansion or stretching forth, a term that well expresses the quality of the atmospherical Auid which is spread out, and envelopes the earth as a garment. The action of that light which was created on the preceding day, must necessarily have had a powerful influence upon the vast body of subjacent waters, and by heating the same, draw upwards the finer particles, which being infinitely divided, assumed a thin and elastic consistency.
One property alone of this expanse or firmament is șiated by the sacred historian, namely, “ to divide the waters below from the waters above," yet this will be found to be a perfectly accurate description of the pature and quality of the atmosphere. The solution of water in air, and its subsequent depo
sition in rain, is now ascertained beyond all doubt. While the great mass of waters is kept in order, pressed down, and actuated upon by the atmosphere, the subtiier particles from its surface are separated or divided, as our translation has it, from the lower waters, and drawn up in vapours, till by forming clouds, they become dense, and descend again upon the earth in drops of rain for the purposes of vegetation and other important benefits. The phraseology of scripture in this place wonderfully comports with the experiments of natural philosophy, and expresses with its accustomed exactness and brevity, the prinne quality and operation of the atmosphere. The word by which it is called is significant beyond all others of its surprizing, elasticity; and what is said of its separating between the upper and lower waters, is confirmed by the best observations, and it accounts for the variety of meteorological phænomena connected with the relation which subsists between water and air.
Some theorists have maintained that there was no rain in the antediluvian world, and this opinion they principally ground on Gen. ii. 5, when in giving a summary account of the particulars of the creation, Moses says, “ These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created; in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, and every plant of the field, before it was in the earth. and every herb of the field before it grew; for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”
Such a conclusion, however, is very unreasonably drawn from the text, and we might as well say that there were no men in the antediluvian world, as no rain, from what is said in this passage. The sacred writer only means, that vegetation of all kinds was created at once in full perfection without a previous process of manuring, watering, and the aid of human labour; so that if the text proves any thing in particular on this point, it goes to establish the position, that there was rain even in the paradisiacal state, because it is here admitted to be a principal instrument in vegetation.
It does not, however, necessarily follow from hence, that there must have been so great a variety of seasons, and such violent changes in the atmosphere as are now experienced. We have every reason to believe, that the fall of man: affected not a little the whole material sys tem, which underwent a still more formidable revolution in consequence of the universal deluge: but the general naturę, operations and effects of the elements were the same in the beginning as they are now.
fall a licence
This firmament or expanse, it is said God called Heaven's or app which comes from a word meaning to place or dispose, and this again must be admitted to be a happy expression significant of the infinitely various and powerfully disposing qualities and influences of the atmospheric fluid which penetrates all substances, and is the grand agent throughout nature, without wbich water would be putrescent, and the earth a desert region, without a plant, and void of an inhabitant. Air, (or as in the original the airs, disposes and regulates every thing that conduces to life, and while it actuates all things, combines itself essentially with none, but when its operative influence ceases in one part, it escapes to unite again with the great mass, and to commence its ever active powers in other forms and upon other subjects.
(To be Continued.)
From ARCHBISHOP Laud's DevotionS.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
N my last Extracts from ARCHBISHOP Laud's Daily
Office, I sent you such prayers as were of general importance and utility, although the subjects of them are very generally neglected.- Relations and Friends are not perhaps so frequently remembered in our prayers as is necessary to preserve the spirit of unity in such connections, or as the duty of charity requires. Servants are more universally disregarded; as if they formed no part of christian families, or that their superiors might be wholly indifferent to their welfare. Hence it is that we so frequently find their attendance at church, and the more private duties of religion so generally disregarded. Masters and mistresses seem to think they have
a licence for this neglect, and that if they comply with custom, in going to church themselves, there is no duty required of them towards their domestics. Such persons however should remember that they also have a Master in Heaven, to whom they must render an exact account for every instance wherein they have neglected the duty HE requires of them towards their inferiors. And poot indeed must their sense of religion be, and little can they know of the world who can believe their servants will be faithful to them, while they neglect and encourage their disobedience to God. Therefore in proportion as frequency or custom seems to excuse or familiarize gross violations of duty, so must the account of it be proportionally severe.
Masters, see that ye give to your servants that which is just and equál, knowing that ve also have a MASTER in Heaven! It is not therefore the preparation of a meal, or the reception of company, that will either exonerate now, or plead an excuse then. Such pleading must be in vain: for where thế spirit is desirous of complying with its duty, as doing it heartily unto the Lord, and not unto men, there will always be found a willing mind to furnish the means. And as those means are always found with avidity and alacrity, where worldly profit or pleasure is concerned, so it can only arise from the want of inclination, when it is neglected in the way of duty.
Those in affliction are so seldom remembered in prayer, that the general practice would lead one to suppose it was not a christian duty. Persons are usually so averse to entertain any idea connected with sorrow, ünless it relates to themselves, that they would willingly consider it as an optional duty, whether they should
or should not concern themselves with the afflictions of others “ in mind, body or estate;" although our Blessed Saviour bas made our doing so one mark of our being his disciples; and our admirable liturgy in conformity thereto, has provided one of its most sublime parts*, for this express purpose. Yet however averse men may be from adverting to the sorrow of others, tbey are sufficient}y desirous that this charitable office should be performed for them, when they themselves require it, and as this stamps its propriety and importance, so does it evirice their depravity and ingratitude. The command of God is here
* The inimitable prayer for all conditions of men. Vol. VIII. Churchm. Mag. March 1805. Еe