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Another question I wish to ask is, Whether a Clergy: man, not a Chaplain to a Nobleman, nor a Doctor in Divinity, can claim the privilege of wearing a scarf? No mention is made of a scarf in the Canons. vis I would thank likewise any one of your correspondents to inform me, Which is the best and most correct edition of the Bible, without notes or annotations, but with marginal references; and likewise the best and most correct edition of the Common Prayer?
I have been a subscriber to your excellent Publication from its commencement, and am happy to perceive the improvements which it has received since its first establishment. Permit me, therefore, to offer a hint, which I think would tend to its further improvement, which is, to print the Literary Intelligence, the List of Books in Theology, the Ecclesiastical and Academical Promotions, the Obituary, and Notices to Correspondents, in a much smaller type than at present, similar to that of the Gentleman's Magazine; as this would be the means of allowing more room for your miscellaneous matter, which, since the alteration in your type is considerably abridged, I think it would be better likewise to confine the Obituary solely to Clergymen. I am extremely gratified by your insertion of Heber's incomparable Poem,“ Palestine;" and I think that your Readers will be pleased with the insertion of Mitford's on the same subject, which sharply contended for superiority with the former. It is printed in the Poetical Register, with Heber's.
Pardon me for making these observations; but, believe me, it is with the sole wish to benefit your excellent publication,
A KENTISH CURATE,
ON THE CHURCHING OF WOMEN.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN's
A , ,
S every thing, which relates to the orderly performe I make no apology for communicating to you the follow
ing suggestions, however trivial they may appear in themselves.
I have repeatedly heard it remarked, that, in the course of our service, the office for the churching of women is in. troduced so abruptly, as to be productive of an unpleasa jpg effect. This seems to arise principally, if not entirely, from the circumstance, that, generally speaking, the cone gregation have no previous notice, that such a ceremony is to be performed, and receive the first intimation of it froin the opening of the office itself, This might easily be avoided, if, on such occasions, the minister were to say, at the end of the General Thanksgiving, which I take to be the proper place for introducing this office, “Ą person desires to return thanks to Almighty God for her safe deliverance.'
Among the lower orders of people, an error seems to prevail, respecting this ceremony, of supposing, that the woman must be churched within a limited time, or at least before she returns at all to her ordinary occupations, on pain of incurring some ecclesiastical censure: by which means it sometimes happens, that women come to be churched before they are sufficiently recovered, and run an unnecessary hazard of injuring their health. Though it is very proper, and what a grateful mind would natu. rally desire, to come as soon as a regard to safety will permit; yet it should be explicitly made known, that there is no obligation to come at any particular time, or before the resumption of any, particular employment. Mr, Wheatly, in his illustration of this office, very sensibly says, “God does not require thanks for a mercy, before he has vouchsafed it: if, therefore, the woman comes as soon as her strength permits, she discharges her obliga, tions both to Him and the Church.” There are many damestic affairs, to which she may attend with safety, before she could with safety, especially at some seasons.of the year, attend the service of the Church. In country places, we often see women come to be churched, who, having entered the church perhaps just before the office of churching begins, leave it as soon as that office is finished. This may happen accidentally, or because they do not find themselves so much recovered as they had previously supposed. It happens, however, so often, as to give reason to suspect, that the generality of women either attend this ceremony sooner than they ought to do, or at: fend it not from a spirit of thankfulness and devotion, but merely as a matter of form.
Among the higher ranks of people, instances occur (though I hope they are but few) of an opposite error; } inean that of being churched (if the expression may be allowed) at home. The absurdity of this practice is so glaring, that I cannot allow myself to reason upon it, and sball only observe, that, if shame to acknowledge in public a mercy received from the Almighty, make any part of the sentiment, by which a lady is led to adopt it, the ceremony had better be altogether omitted. See II Sam, vi. 16. to the end of the chap, Mark viii. 38. Luke ix. 26. Rempstone, April, 11,
E. PEARSON. 1804.
P.S. I will thank your readers to make the following correction in your last number. The error was entirely my own. Page 149, line 6, for “ Article," put şi doćtrine of predestination.” Page 149, line 7, for “ it,” put
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
S several attempts (one of which you have justly exmade to render men dissatisfied and disaffected, and to induce them to believe that, in complying with the Sunday Drills, they are violating the divine commands, and bringing down the divine judgments on themselves and their country, a few remarks on that subject may be useful.
No man should act against his conscience; but then let him be careful that his conscience be rightly informed: every scruple may not be right; every opinion of men is not to be followed as the law of God. In ral it is absolutely required, that every one should attend his parish church twice on a Sunday; unless he does so,
he cannot be said to sanctify the Sabbath day. But when we lay down a general and positive law, it allows many exemptions. In working a ship, though most of the crew are called upon to attend the public worship; yet some must be left for the necessary attention of the ship. The generality of a regiment in garrison may attend the service of the church; but I never heard that a centinel on that day either accused himself, or was justly accused by others, that he had violated the sabbath day. Children are nursed, and the sick attended, without any violation of the Sabbath day ; nay, circumstances may be such, that even the attendance on public worship would be a neglect of a more important duty. “ I will have mercy and not sacrifice.” In some cases, the Giver of all Good would rather that we attended to the comfort of a fellow creature,--the aged, sick and infirm, than to attend at his courts; God is most honoured when the most good is done to our fellow creatures.
In the necessary defence of our country is not great good done; as this inclụdes our religion, our laws, our king, our aged parents, our affectionate wives, and young children? Does he deserve the name of Man, or the smallest blessing he enjoys, who would not contend for these as long as his existence lasted? In obeying these first great dictates, we are obeying the law of GOD. Circumstances may be such, that he who is attending the Sunday Drill, or marching to oppose the enemy on the coast, on a Sunday, is more truly sanctifying the Sabbath Day, than he who is attending some favourite Preacher, who esteems it the greatest of all crimes to be absent from his long harangues, though these may be three times on the Sunday. An admired and pious-living author says, “ if there were not an appointed day of rest, many would never see the light of the sun, condemned to work in mines; many would never know the comforts of cleanliness, of a few chearful hours with their friends, or a walk in the fresh air, and would pass a miserable life of conti, pual hardship.”
I am, Sir,
ON THE LORD'S SUPPER*,
(Distributed by the Endeavour Society.) W for
HATEVER benefits we now enjoy, or hope for Christ; therefore we are commanded to keep up a continual remembrance of it (a.) This is done by our eating bread and drinking wine, with prayer to God (b); wherein, the breaking of the bread signifies, the breaking of Christ's body upon the cross; and the pouring out the wine signifies, the shedding his blood for our salvation. The agreement we entered into at our baptism, we renew and confirm in this holy sacrament; which is intended as a seal of the new covenant, wherein God promises us three things: First, to forgive us our sins (c.) Secondly, the help of his holy Spirit (d.) Thirdly, eternal life (e.) The sacrament of the Lord's supper is the highest act of devotion we are capable of upon earth. It is the greatest honour that God ever granted to men, for he calls us to his table; and the food he gives us, is the body and blood of Christ. If then you had the purity of an angel you could not deserve so great a favour; and ought to think it a great blessing that you are suffered to taste it; for if a man eat of this bread, with an honest and good heart, he shall live for ever (f). How wicked then is it to slight and refuse this holy sacrament, when you are invited and desired to partake of it. Eacept ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you (g). You see we cannot neglect it, without the greatest danger to our souls. This further appears from the danger of neglecting the PASSOVER among the Jews (h), which answered to it. I would charitably suppose, that no christian disdainfully refuses to come to the Lord's table, or turns his back scornfully upon it, but only on some pretence or other, which he thinks reasonable and good; and would, if he was convinced of his error, return to his duty
* See MANUAL OF ORTHODOX DIVINITY, by the Rev. OLIVER Sr. John COOPER, M. A. &c. Chap. XLI. Page 130, printed by the EB DEAVOUR SOCIETY. (a) Luke xxii. 19. (b)1 Cor. xi. 24, 25. (c) Luke xxiv. 47, and Heb.viii
. 12. (d) Luke xi. 13. (e) 1 John, ii. 25. (f) John. vi. 51. (8) Joho vi. 53. th) Exodus xii, 15, 19.