Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

may have liad a' more beneficial effect, and aided, in a Designing men have, in latter days, aimed manner unknown to us, the Christian cause more than

a deadly blow at every thing that is consethe labours of a protracted life.

crated by age and matured by experience; Naturally of a sweet and amiable temper, endowed with first-rate mental powers, and having cultivated

and the Church of England could not expect them to the utmost, the character of Sir Henry, under to escape from the attacks of a system any circumstances, might have excited our admiration; but how much is that admiration increased; having for its object the total annihilation of when we behold the heart brought under the sancti

every institution based on sound and legitifying influence of the Gospel, and the powers and

mate principles. But the united strength of energies of the soul directed to the furtherance of the the enemy cannot shake the foundations of glory of God, and the momentous interests of man!

our Jerusalem, which are of precious pearls The dying chamber is a sacred place. It is far from

and solid stones, nor overthrow her grand kind or Christian, under all circumstances, to reveal its secrets; and there is too often no little exaggera

and goodly pillars. Wintry storms will only tion as to the triumph of faith which the parting soul contribute to her stability ; the fire of perseis privileged to testify. In the case before us the cution shall but refine, and make her firm as picture, we have the surest ground to believe, is not too highly coloured. The scene brought before us is

the everlasting hills. I do not say that she that of the last earthly moments of one who, in death is perfect; nothing of mere human mould as in life, bore the most unqualified testimony to the can merit that epithet: but I venture boldly power and grace of the Gospel. It is for us to recol

to assert, that her articles, homilies, and ritual, lect, that the hour is now upon the wing which shall number us with the sead; and it is for us to seek,

are of such a character as to constitute a through the blood of Jesus, that peace which was here mighty fortress against the inroads of anarso beautifully exemplified, and an admission to those chy and confusion on the one hand, and the realms of unfading glory, of which we cannot doubt overflowings of ungodliness on the other. that the subject of this memoir shall, through eter

I feel a veneration for those formularies, which nity, be an inhabitant.

T. M.

we have so often used with comfort and ad

vantage; I love to pray in the words in THE VALUE OF THE LITURGY:

which our forefathers prayed, and in which Sermon,

so many fellow-worshippers are still calling BY THE Rev. C. H. MINCHIN, M.A.*

on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both Dublin.

theirs and ours.

I never enter a Gothic PSALM xcvi. 9.

church,” says Mr. Cecil, “ without feeling “0, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness."

myself impressed with something of this In an age, like the present, of innovation, walls have resounded, perhaps for centuries,

idea : without remembering that within these speculation, and destruction, when what is

Thou art the

by successive generations, venerable, for that very reason, becomes King of Glory, o Christ!" suspected, it is incumbent on all, who are King of Glory, o Christ!""

David was the composer of the Psalm from given to change,” to cling with reverential attachment to institutions founded

which my text is taken, and he delivered it in wisdom, and valuable from experience,

to the priests and Levites to be sung conand which, with all their blemishes, have tinually before the ark. The force of the been highly honoured of God through a

exhortation conveyed in this beautiful passeries of many generations. I might apply the Lord in public worship, we must never

sage is, that, as we must often

appear before this remark to the constitution of our government, as established at the revolution, the appear before him empty. In solemn assemundisturbed preservation of which is so’inti- blies, where divine institutions are observed, mately blended with the safety and glory of worship him with holy hearts, sanctified by

the beauty of which is their holiness, we must the British empire. I might, if the sanctity the grace of God, devoted to the glory of of the place would permit, enter into an analysis of the beauties of that constitution, A holy awe and reverence is to be observed,

God, and purified from the pollution of sin. which have earned for her the praise and drawn forth the envy of the whole world :

and we must give unto the Lord the glory

due unto his name. but I forbear. Unwilling to present even

And are the offices of the semblance of a political discourse, I

the Church of England,--a Church which may would confine my remarks to one feature of

be called the bulwark and strong tower of our national advantages,Four incomparable character, that we can employ them with our

the reformation,--of that high standard and liturgy, “ the evangelical purity of whose sentiments, the chastened fervour of whose all her prayers, intercessions, and thanks

lips as a pure and wholesome sacrifice? Yes; devotion, and the majesty and simplicity of whose language, have combined to place it in givings, breathe a spirit, imbibed from the the very first rank of uninspired composi- exalted purity; and her hallowed services

book of God itself, of fervent devotion and tions."

have, by their spirituality, soundness of doc• The author is indebted to Bishop Dehon for some valuable

trine, and sublimity, gained the approbation

not "6

hints in this discourse.

prayer for all

of many, who yet dissent from our Church joy; and we rehearse, in the apostles' creed, government, and object to our discipline. a summary of the truths drawn from reveHow interesting is the scene, how solemn lation, and by our “ Amen” we declare our the moment, when a congregation of " miser- assent to them. We then prostrate ourselves able sinners" assembles in the house of God again in the attitude of prayer, and engage to unite in prayer and supplication at a in acts of supplication, in which spiritual throne of grace!' In order that the attention blessings are magnified above temporal oncs, of the worshippers may be arrested, and their and the interests of the Church are regarded thoughts collected, the minister commences more than the concerns of the world. In the solemn service by reading one or more the Litany, that sublime and comprehensive passages of Scripture, applicable to the occa- composition, there is a regular transition sion, and calculated to promote reflection from invocation of mercy to deprecation of The object of the meeting is then noticed in evil, and from deprecation of evil to supplicaan address, which follows, and those Chris- tion of favours ; there is not a thing needful tian graces are recommended, without which, for the soul or body which is forgotten; nor our approach to “ the throne of the heavenly is there an individual, who may not find in grace" cannot meet with acceptance before it a, petition adapted to his own case. As God. The worshippers, as sinful mortals, we draw towards the close of the service, we dust and ashes, are required, before they are called on to exalt our gratitude to the offer any oblation, to make a confession of highest pitch, and to expand our charity to their sins “ with an humble, lowly, penitent, the utmost extent. In the “ and obedient heart;" and that man must be sorts and conditions of men,” we supplicate insensible to all religious impressions and appropriate mercies for the whole human emotions, who is not bowed down to the race. In the general thanksgiving, which very dust under a sense of sin and unworthi- burns with the most ardent spirit of praise, ness. The pious penitent, having laid bare his we honour God for all his mercies, temporal heart, with all its pollutions, before a throne and spiritual, to us and to all men. An exof grace, is privileged to hear that God “ hath cellent summary, from the pen of the pious given power and commandment to his mi- Chrysostom, of all for which the Christian nisters to declare and pronounce to his people, can be anxious, follows; and the benedictory being penitent, the absolution and remission prayer, which the spirit of inspiration has of their sins.” And while he truly “repents,

hallowed, closes the daily service. and unfeignedly believes his holy Gospel,” Such being a brief analysis of the beautiful, he can, with faith, avail himself of the com- interesting, and scriptural arrangement of fort arising from the fact, that He, who alone the services of the reading-desk, I may be can forgive sins, pardoneth and absolveth permitted to ascend the pulpit

, and to advert all, who, in repentance and faith, throw them to the character which it does, or ought to selves on his mercy in Christ Jesus. The sustain. Preaching is only inferior to prayer, humble worshipper then lifts up his grateful and holds the next place to the higher duty voice to “ our Father which is in heaven," of public worship. The object of preaching and addresses to him that summary of a is not for the gratification of taste. Its office Christian's homage, in which He, who pur- is to raise before the sinner the cross; to chased forgiveness for his people, has taught exhibit to him the sacrifice offered upon it; them to pray:

Our spirits being relieved to beseech him to take of its blood, to from the burden of our fears, we rise from sprinkle it upon his raiment, that when “ the our knees, and, in a most ancient doxology, destroying angel" comes to execute the venan animated hymn, and a portion of the geance of God upon a guilty world, it may psalms, we ascribe everlasting glory to Him, be to him the token of everlasting preservain language of inspiration, celebrating his tion. Its office is to open the oracles of dipraise. A lesson is read from the Old Tes- vine truth, from thence to bring the probe tament; at the close of it we renew the which shall convict the heart of sin, and from flame of our devotion, by celebrating, in suit- thence to lead you to the knowledge not only able hymns, Jehovah's character, works, and of yourselves, but of the only way by which grace. A lesson from the New Testament God and sinners may be reconciled. Its follows; and thus the Law and the Gospel, the office is to go before you into the tomb, with prophets and the apostles, are brought, at a the bright torch which it receives from revesuitable time, to adorn our service; and the lation; to disperse the blackness of darkness important truth is inculcated, that through- which hangs over its entrance; to shew you out the Bible there is but one scheme car- the place where Jesus lay ; to remind you ried on, issuing in the redemption of the that Jesus is risen ; and that this awful doworld through Jesus the Son of God. Then minion, with its awful king, shall be finally follow appropriate hymns of adoration and overturned. Its office is to draw aside the you are

veil which conceals from view the eternal | itself, cannot save you. A. form of sound world; to shew you hell, and all its torments, words is essentially necessary; but if and beseech you to escape them; to shew not yourselves “temples of the Holy Ghost;" you heaven, and all its glories, and entreat if you do not “worship the Lord in spirit you to enter. Such are the objects of preach- and in truth," and " in the beauty of holiing; and it is truly gratifying, that in the ness,” the life of religion is wanting, "one Church of England and Ireland great is the thing thou lackest;" and even your solemn company of such preachers, who, while they meetings, like the ceremony of a funeral, are are making a bold stand against "heresy nothing but the pageantry of the dead. They and schism,” are also faithfully testifying of who honour the Lord with lip-service, or Jesus, “ whom to know is life eternal." draw nigh to him in formality, do but

Returning to the more immediate object trust in lying words; and there can be no of this discourse, I would observe, that the greater delusion than to bow the knee with variety in our Church service appears to me affected reverence and devotion, while the like a well-furnished garden, in which are heart is far from God. You attend public shades of the deepest verdure, and flowers worship; you admire, reverence, and join in of the liveliest hue; waters flowing from a the formularies of your Church ; and yet you pure fountain to fertilise and delight; and may, in the very sanctuary, exhibit to Him seats, at which, at proper intervals, we may who reads the heart, a spirit at variance with rest, and be refreshed. I dare not stamp the new nature of a devoted follower of the upon it, however precious and valuable, the Lord Jesus. External respect, or badges of word perfection—no institution can boast of distinction, without the power of vital godlisuch a character ; and it would be necessary ness, appear to Him, who looks not at the to climb up into heaven in order to see a per- outside, only as “sounding brass or a tinkling fect model, without spot or blemish. The cymbal.” Without a change of heart, your Church of England may have her defects Church is but an insignificant emblem-your and imperfections; but it would be difficult doctrines are but as chaff--your zeal but to make an alteration in the edifice without wildfire-and your conversion but a name. impairing its strength, disturbing its propor- | Do not build the safety of your state merely tions, and diminishing its fulness.

on the purity of the communion to which, The more our Church is examined, the perhaps from prejudice, habit, or education, more her scriptural nature and practical ex- you may be attached; nor imagine that the cellence will appear. In her constitution, she name of Churchman is a passport to heaven, is apostolical; in her spirit, she is tolerant; her while the name of Christian, in all its purity, doctrines are scriptural ; her liturgy approxi- is not to be found in your creed. Can we mates to inspiration; her articles were written truly say, that, at all our solemn meetings, in the blood of reformers; her prayers con- the conviction, “surely the Lord is in this soled the hearts of martyrs; her service com- place," arrests our thoughts and fixes our bines the beauty of order with the charm of attention, as we cross the threshold of this variety, and the fervour of zeal with the sacred temple? We go to our pews, and depth of devotion. Her utility has been offer up a prayer in silence; but is it the proved in seasons of trial, and her excellence prayer of the heart ? Heedless and thoughthas been proclaimed by the voice of experi- less of the object of our meeting, and for

“ Walk about our Zion, and go round getful of Him, in whose more immediate about her ; tell the towers thereof; mark presence we then are, is it not to be feared ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces;" that some of us look upon the whole service and if with an unprejudiced mind, and a de- as a representation, at which we may be unvotional spirit, you examine her high cha- concerned spectators, regarding the “ house racter, the search will be delightful, the of prayer" as a “ market-place,” where we reward abundant. She will appear to you may “stand all the day idle ?" It is an exthe bulwark of sound doctrine, and the sanc- cellent rule in the Scripture directory of tuary of scriptural piety ; and then a mar- religious worship,—“ Keep thy foot when tyr's spirit will be exhibited in a martyr's thou goest to the house of God;" that is, language, while you say, “ Though I should " Keep thy heart with all diligence:" look die with thee, yet will I not deny thee." well to the motions of thy soul, and observe

But beware how any of you exclaim, although the steps it takes. Do you really feel the members of a pure Church, “ The temple of weight and burden of sin, when you employ the Lord — the temple of the Lord are we,” the words miserable sinners? or are not some while yet your hearts are not the temple of of you, even while uttering this expression, a contrite heart and a broken spirit. Al. puffed up with a secret satisfaction that you though there is salvation in the Church of more excellent than your neighbour ?" England, your Church, however perfect in When the God of glory admits such worms as

ence.

are

we are into his presence, and vouchsafes to all grace, that we may pray always with all hear us when we call upon him, ought we not prayer and supplication in the spirit, and to be very careful to bring every thought into watch thereunto with all perseverance. May obedience to the law of this solemnity? we ever live as we pray; " for the sacrifice Ought we not, as it were, to " clear the of the wicked is an abomination unto the court” of every idle intruder, when the doors Lord; but the prayer of the upright is his are to be opened for the King of glory to delight.” “Let the words of our mouths, come in ?

Oh! let us, when we come before and the meditations of our hearts, be always the Lord, supplicating mercy and deprecating acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength vengeance, look up to him for grace to esta- and our Redeemer !" blish the heart and keep it steady ; look with

“ O Lord our God, thy people hear, sorrow and shame upon its wanderings;

Thy presence now display: shut the door against distractions ; " watch

May this be call'd ' an house of pray'r ;' and pray" against temptation ; and when

O grant us hearts to pray!" those birds of prey come down upon the sacrifice, do as Abraham did, drive them away. Let us approach the Lord in his MISSIONARY EXERTIONS IN CANADA. holy temple with a holy awe, and a reverence We have been favoured by the Rev. W. J. D. Waddiof the Divine Majesty. Angels, that always love with the following copy of a letter to him from behold God's face, see cause to cover their

the Rev. Thomas Green, travelling missionary in the own. Let us not rush into his presence, as

London district, Upper Canada, dated from Wood

house, Oct. 21, 1836:if he were a man like ourselves; but in all humility, giving to him the glory due to his

MY DEAR SIR-I avail myself of a few days' rest

from my labours to give you some account of my emname, and taking to ourselves the shame due to ployment since I entered upon the scene of my miniours. Let each person “ examine himself,” strations; and though very desirous of transmitting and so let him go to the footstool of the throne some details of my mission to you and your friends, of grace ; let him beware how he touch

favourable to the missionary cause in this country, I sacred things with unhallowed hands, lest tirely by want of time, being almost without cessation

can assure you I have hitherto been prevented enhe offer to the Lord “ the sacrifice of fools." | employed in the duties of the mission. Oh! that we all worshipped like Abel, by

Since my arrival in the London district, I have faith, -- that this testimony were stamped on

preached on an average nearly one sermon, and ridden our solemn meetings, “ Behold, he prayeth ;” temperature, undergoing privations-at night resting

fifteen miles every day, exposed to every variety of and that in all our acts of devotion our in log- houses, admitting through their various unthoughts were centered in the propitiatory stopped chinks the cold midnight air-suffering from sacrifice of the Son of God! Whenever we

change from house to house, what I had not most redraw nigh to the mercy-seat, whether in pri- sionary; but, sir, I do not for one moment regret my

motely anticipated prior to my appointment as misvate, social, or public worship, may a sense acceptance of the mission, and rejoice to have been of our own unworthiness humble us unto the accounted worthy by my heavenly Master of being very dust, and a knowledge of Christ's wor

admitted into his vineyard as a standard-bearer of his

most glorious and blessed Gospel. thiness encourage us to come boldly to a

If it were possible for the true Israelites, who in throne of grace!

your highly favoured land abound in the outward And now, dear friends, that we are about means of grace, and sit under a fixed ministration, to to retire from the sanctuary, impressed, 1 exchange situations for a short period with those who

have been compelled by circumstances to seek a home trust, with the solemnity of the occasion, the

in the dense forests of America, they would gladiy sanctity of the place, and the spirituality of hail and fully acknowledge “ the feet of those to be the services in which we have been engaged, indeed beautiful,” who visit from time to time their selet us retire within ourselves, and meditate cluded dwellings with the glad tidings of great joy."

Could they fully realise the deplorable extent of the on the grave and serious occupations of this

spiritual destitution of very, very many who, like holy day. Let us endeavour to imbibe the themselves, once enjoyed the happy privilege of Sab; spirit, under the influence of which the bath services and Sabbath schools for themselves and framers of our Liturgy compiled that scrip- their children-could they realise this in their imatural and sublime form of sound words, so

gination, I am led to hope such would be the impres

sion, and such the efforts made to promote the truth that " our prayers may ascend to the throne

as it is in Jesus, that great would be the company of of grace like incense, and the lifting up of those speeding on the wings of love, bearing the mesour hands and hearts like an evening sacri- sage of mercy-entering at every door, and deeming

silence shame. fice!" As often as we enter into the courts

I am very conscious that yours is an irksome task, of the Lord's house, may we fall down with to be obliged, day after day, continually to make your the lowest reverence before his mercy-seat, appeal to the benevolence of your friends who cannot desirous to receive, as well as implore, a witness, and would hardly believe, the wants of the blessing, and seeking, in spirit and in truth, by your labour of love ; but I trust the time is not far

remote settlers in the woods, nor the joy occasioned mercy from the Lord. And may the God of when many, who are anxious for the prosperity of and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ give us the Church of Christ, will be awakened to the state of

seen,

this country, and will, with untiring zeal, help you in stance presented itself in the course of his reading
your glorious work. If ever there was need of exer- them through.
tion, it is at the present time, so great has been the If I could by any means procure a small supply of
increase of emigration for the past season,* as well Prayer-Books and Testaments, they would be very
from England as from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, acceptable. * I have written to a few friends on the
and these, for the most part, of the labouring classes subject, and daily liope to hear from them of some
only, who cannot be expected at present, however will- plan to secure me occasionally a few, accompanied with
ing, to contribute even the most trifling sum for the tracts. But let me mention to you another incident
support of the Gospel. That such a desire exists which occurred. Having visited a family in which all
extensively, I have witnessed on many occasions- the children (sis in number) were unbaptised, I left a
having had made to me frequently offers of land and tract called “ A Visit to the Pastor's Study," and
lumber for the erection of churches, and subscriptions from time to time, as I passed in my rounds, an-
of work to a very large amount. " Gold and silver swered the objections made by the parents to infant
have we none; but such as we have we will freely give baptism. I then allowed some time to elapse, when
unto you.” A farmer in the township of Norwich again, in my way to my appointments to places adja-
told me very lately, that he was willing to give me cent, I called to see them, and was much gratified to
as much lumber as would build a church, and repeat- hear the father express an earnest desire that I would
edly expressed the satisfaction he felt at having been baptise the children.
spared to see once more a clergyman of that Church, I hope in future to be able regularly to forward to
to which he was so warmly attached, beneath his roof. you, for the information of your friends, an account
On another occasion, on my way to Port Burwell (on of my mission. I have kept a journal, which, in all
Lake Erie), in the township of Wayham, I was ac- probability, will be published in the next annual re-
costed by a person whom I had not before but port of the Toronto Society, with those of the mis-
who had heard of my arrival in the London district. sionaries in the home and midland districts. I trust
He asked me many questions, to ascertain whether I the amount of my usefulness (humanly speaking) will
was the travelling missionary; and after a long and be nearly co-extensive with theirs, from the plan which
interesting conversation, he handed me a dollar as his I invariably pursue (unless prevented by circum-
annual subscription, at the same time requesting me stances of no ordinary kind), of ascertaining, by con-
to put down on the subscription-list the name of his versation in the families where I stop, the views and
brother-in-law for the same amount; and he remarked, opinions of the different members; and then in the
that if at any time a church could be erected in the morning or evening prayer with the family, I select
neighbourhood of his dwelling, he would very gladly suitable portions of Scripture, which I press upon
subscribe twenty-five dollars in cash.

their minds by a strong and practical application. I heard another person declare he would with plea- This plan I have found in many instances already to sure subscribe, to the amount of one of his best horses, have been attended with success. I have also endeafor the same object. If, therefore, dear sir, such zeal voured to impress upon their minds, more particularly and such love be promoted and cherished as it ought under the peculiar circumstances of their case, the to be, what question can there be, that as soon as the duty and importance of family worship. May the Lord emigrants are settled, and can command the means, seal with his most Holy Spirit every effort made in the friends of the Gospel on the other side the Atlantic sincerity to promote the spread of his Gospel; and to will be disburdened, and the Church of our fathers Him, with the Son, be all the glory and thanksestablished on its firmest basis.

giving. It is, however, deeply to be regretted, that in many With respect to temporal matters, the outlay of the places there is a total disregard of the Sabbath ; but first year falls the heaviest, being obliged to purchase this may be traced entirely to the total want of stated a horse, harness, &c. &c. Clothes also are an expenservices and Sunday schools, and I think, ere long it sive article here; but my salary is fully sufficient to will be otherwise. Having one day visited a family cover all my expenses. I hope to hear from you soon. from Cumberland, the mother remarked to me--" Oh, That the Lord may recognise all the exertions of sir, we are now differently situated from what we were yourself and your friends, for his glory, and may bless accustomed to be in England! the children did not you, your family, and them, is the constant and sincere then ask, “Mother, will to-morrow be Sunday?' which prayer of the Missionary of the London District. they now only know when I wash them on Saturday

Thomas GREEN. night." In another case, the mother of a family from

P.S.— The Rev. F. Evans has promised to write to a place near Bristol, said to me—" Sir, this place is not like the old country; there we had a church, and

you shortly. From a long residence in his mission,

he will be able to supply you with many interesting nice Sunday schools for the children." And in many places it is observable, that from the total want of

details. I have experienced the greatest kindness and

assistance from him. sound and evangelical teaching, the most fanciful and extravagant theories in religion readily find disciples, and thus the seeds of Socinianism and Universalism

LITURGICAL HINTS.-No. XI. are disseminated and cherished.

At present I have nearly fourteen stations in the “Understandest thou what thou readest?"--Acts, vilj. 30. townships of Barford, Windham, Middleton, Buyham,

QUINQUAGESIMA SUNDAY. and Walpole, in all which, with little exception, there This Sunday receives its name from being the fiftietk are regular services every third week. I have endea

day before Easter. The Collect is not an ancient voured to establish Sunday schools, and hope ulti

one, but was composed in 1549, and belongs to that mately to succeed (God willing). I have distributed

class which were composed anew and adopted instead from 2500 to 3000 pages of well-written and appro- of those which were rejected as containing false or priate tracts, which are most eagerly sought after by superstitious sentiments. The petition of this prayer all classes and all denominations. On Sunday the is, that God would “send his Holy Ghost, and pour 16th, I distributed a few after evening service; and into our hearts the most excellent gift of charity.” Its after family prayer, having retired to rest, I was very excellence all must own who contemplate that divine much pleased to hear the father of the family read

face of it which the apostle has drawn in the Epistle. aloud the tracts which I had given to him, and make The Corinthians had valued themselves highly upon a few suitable comments, as any passage or circum- their spiritual gifts : it is the object of the apostle here * 20,000 souls between the 1st of April and 1st of August, 1836. * £10 has been placed at his disposal to procure this supply.

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »