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days, * which were unknown in the
pure Chriftia. nity, and only introduced by the papacy to aggrandize the Church of Rome, but by adopting such an order for their succession and celebration, as to comprise a complete fystem of education in Christian divinity; each subject leading so naturally into the other, and the importance of the foundation, raising such a firm and regular superstructure, that to follow our church through her calendar, is to obtain a regularly connected epitome of ecclefiaftical history and Christian practice. Her public services thus call upon her MINISTERS to explain every article of our creed, and every mystery t of our faith, and every point of practice ; and
* See the black letter days in the calendar of Dr. Nicholls on the Common Prayer, and the Clavis Calendaria, or the Liturgy Calendar of the Church of England explained, a very useful old book to be reprinted: Also the late Bishop Douglas's CRITERION on true and false miracles; wherein those of the Abbé Paris and the Romish Church are particularly consideredi
+ Dr. Young has observed with his usual acumen, tery explained is a mystery undone,” i. e. it can be so no longer ; and an orthodox and exemplary divine now living, has well added,
we do not presume to explain them (mysteries) to you, because they have not been explained to us.". The late learned Bishop of St. Asaph, Dr. Horsley, was of opinion there were no mysteries in Christianity. After all, the subject resolves itself into that admirably beautiful, wise, and oratorical definition of him who is the author of all mysteries both in heaven and earth; “ if we do not understand earthly things, how can we understand when we hear of heavenly things." In fact, is there any thing we do perfectly understand? The wisest and best of the medical faculty acknowledge and lament, by sad experience, their inability to comprehend thoroughly any of the complicated and wonderfully combined actions of the human æconomy, yet we all see the effects daily. Can we tell the process of nutrition, of growth, or the various secretions, from that single fluid, the blood, &c. ? yet I presume we are nourished, do grow, &c. although the modus has never been yet ascertained, but is enveloped in inextricable darkness. (Should any of your readers, Mr. Editor, controvert this position, I am ready to defend it, and will only add my belief ihat the wisdom of Solomon alluded both in a religious and physical sense to a subject of this kind, viz. the arcana of human generation, in that little understood, and certainly much perverted text, where the latter word requires being translated, "a young or child-bearing woman," which in the East, being
afford her PEOPLE an opportunity to avail themselves of thus presenting the most acceptable sacrifice a God of mercy can receive, by a public acknowledgment of “ all his goodnefs and loving kindness in their creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life, and more especially for the REDEMPTION of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for these means of grace, and the hopes of glory, * and such as are unavoidably prevented from joining the public service of the church, are not only entitled to their share of the prayers and praises THERE uffered, but have their minds recalled to the consideration of the sacred subjects as they recur, and can add to their daily devotions those admirable COLI ECTS, + which have been provided for every such especial occafion.
But besides these public and authorised Anniversaries, there are many others, which in their observation are necessarily attended with important advantages to those “ who are exercised thereby;" such as the days of our birth and baptism ; the death of our relations, or friends, any particular mercy, as recovery from dangerous illness, preservation from imminent danger, as accidents by water, fire, animals, falls, &c. and a variety of others, which only the piety of the individual and the nature of the circumstance can direct, and in this we have also the example of our good mother the Church, in the public instances of those days she has added to the rest, and commanded to be observed holy, as Jan. 30, Nov. 5, Oct. 25, &c. &c. We are there. fore edified by the example of ARCHBISHOP LAUD, in thus calling our attention to the subject, while it evinces at the
at an early age, has been misnamed by our translators in the North, where the influence of climate, habits, and manners, pro. duce such an essential difference upon the constitution. That “God hath made all things in wisdom," the unlearned reader may learn by consulting Ray or Edwards on the Creation, Derham's Astro and Physico Theology; or that more modern work of archdeacon Paley's, the Natural Theology.
* General Thanksgiving.
† Hence the importance and utility of their being learned by children, to whom they may prove of lasting use through life, by fur. nishing them with a collection of prayers on every occasion, whatever that state of life may be, “ to which it shall please God to call them.” See (p. 20.) Endeavour Society's Prayers from the Church Catechism for Children. Rivingtons, 3d.
fame time how zealously he was attached to that mother, whose dutiful son he so undoubtedly was, and whose PIETY and humility are thus so clearly evinced.
In these commemorations all his petitions breathe the most devout order, humility, and self-reproach ; while the fervour of his piety sustains his sinking spirits under the most severe losses, and trying calamities, an human being could experience. In the anniversary of his parents death, he applies that comfortable and well-founded doctrine of mutual knowledge in a future ftate,* where, we are told by divine authority that we shall know, even as we are known, and fee as we are seen. Our blessed redeemer himself assures us of this comfort in his parable of Dives and Lazarus, the very groundwork of which is founded upon this doctrine, and surely no parable of his would be founded upon a a fi&tion!
When so many advantages are derived from such an obfervation of days, who would neglect to secure them? how many plealing recollections do they afford ? how many admonitions of our duty and thankfulness to Gud, when thus more especially called upon to exercise them! Yet the Dissenters, with the true SECTARIAN spirit of opposition, are too wise, it feems, to follow the example of the church universal, (for such it assuredly is), and too good to need those aids which modest humanity solicits with grateful hope ; and while others are employed in celebrating the fundamentals of Christianity to the glory of God, and their own salvation, they are perversely distinguishing themselves and their habitations, their families and domestics, by the most opposite and worldly employments. Thus indeed most tacitly avowing, that they neither have nor defire any concern in these things; upon a due attention to which the salvation of Christians depends! The portions of scripture, which our church has so wisely appointed to be read on the anniversary of her HOLY DAYS, in the lessons, epistles, and gofpels, are no small part of the advantage attending our pub. lic celebration of them; and that part which gives us a very decided superiority over SEPARATISTS; for as Bishop King observes, * in all their meetings in a whole year, perhaps there is not so much scripture read as in one day in our Church;” + and he “ challenged them to show any one
* See a Sermon of Dr. Dodd's, on the death of Bishop Squire.
+ See Archbishop King's Discourse on the inventions of men in the Worship of God, in which he shews what the Holy Scripmeeting of the preceding age, where reading the Scripture was duly performed, begging them to consider how they would excuse themselves before God of thus violating his command.' This was also publickly acknowledged by one of their greatest preachers and advocates. +
Our MANUALS of Devotion in general do not furnish a sufficient number of examples of this kind, to assist the pious in their celebration of anniversaries for particular occasions, of loffes, mercies, &c. generally confining them to those of our birth or baptism, though very excellent and highly useful works in every OTHER respect. Some omit them altogether, and where we certainly ought to find them : | but Dr. Ínett's “Guide to the Devout Christian,” affords'a remarkable exception in this particular, where he has given several specimens, and among them one for the second of September, being the FIRE OF LONDON. I
The Church of ENGLAND, says one of her venerable fons**, regulates not her year by the course of the natural sun, but by the sun of righteousness, and therefore
ture prescribes, what is practised in our church, and what is the Dissenters manner, respecting praises, prayer, hearing, bodily worship, and the Lord's supper, with an affectionate address in conclusion, to the conforming clergy, and laity, and the dissenting ministers and laity, p. 71; a most useful little work to be reprinted at this time, and peculiarly adapted, by its conciliating manner, to setile the minds of such as are called moderate men.
* Archbishop King's Discourse, p. 85. + Peirce, in his Vindication.
As in Spinkes's Manual, the Devout Christian's Companion, by Warren; the Protestant Manual of Christian Devotions.
$ Bishop Taylor's Holy Living and Dying, Bishop Patrick's De. vout Christian.
11 The Clergyman's Companion in visiting the Sick, and Dod. well's excellent work, the Sick Man's Companion, and Clergyman's Assistant,
See Inett's Guide to Repentance (added to his Devout Christian,) part iv. p. 387.
** The late well known, learned, and much lamented Rev. W. Jones of Nayland,
anticipates and prepares for the celebration of his coming at the end of the natural year,” thence proceeding in a regular series of appointed holy days wisely distributed throughout that period; for, as Bishop King observes, “ to inculcate the great mysteries of our faith the better, OUR CHURCH has appointed certain solemn times, wherein once in the year the ministry are obliged to explain and inculcate every great mystery of our faith, and moft material passages of the gospel."* Let it become therefore the pleasure, as well as the duty of her children to obey her kind injun&tion, and celebrate with due respect the mysteries of our religion, and the anniversaries of its founderst; which is now more especially required for the revival of true religion, the holding forth a good example, and “putting to filence the reproach of gainsayers.” And let us not be confounded either with 'the deluded or desgning sectARY, who “ sojourning among us,” make a mock at that sin of SCHISM, which was so much abhorred in the Primitive Church, of which the CHURCH OF ENGLAND is so fair a copy. St. CleMENT, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, thus addresses them. “ Your schism has perverted many, discouraged many: it has caused diffidence in many, and GRIEF in us all : and yet your sedITION continues still. Wherefore are there these divisions and schisms among us ? Have we not one calling in Chrift? Why do we raile seditions against our own body? Are we at such a height of madness as to forget we are members one of another ? Remember the words of Christ, "Woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.' shame and a very great shame, to hear the Church should be led by one or two persons, into a sedition AGAINST its priests. The
report is also come to those that differ from us, and the name of the Lord is blasphemed through your folly. Let
• Archbishop King's Disc. p. 68.
+ For their direction and assistance herein, an acquisition will be found in Nelson on the Festivals: or Kirke's Abridgement of it, an old but very useful work. Scintilla Altaris, by Dr. Sparke. Dr. S. Glasse's Lectures on the Festivals. Also a very excellent Tract, entitled the Nature and Design of Holy Days explained, &c. as appointed by the Church of England, printed for Sare, Holborn, 1722; the plainness, size, and price of which would render
great acquisition on the list of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, where it would supply an essential want, and prove highly beneficial in its distribution. VOL. XIV.
T Chm. Mag. Feb. 1808.