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" John

than that which ALMIGHTY God as yet thought fit to promulgate by solemn enactment? Is it not an intimation serviceable for Christian practice, as much as Moses' announcement of the destined “ Prophet like unto him" is intended for the comfort of Christian faith?

Surely the duty of bodily discipline might be rested on the answer to this plain question, Why did Daniel use austerities not enjoined by the Law?

3. Now turn to the New Testament, and observe what clear light is therein thrown upon the duty already recommended to us by the Old Testament Saints.

First, there is the instance of St. John the Baptist. came neither eating nor drinking,” Matt. xi. 18: and his disciples fasted, Matt. ix. 14.

Our Saviour did not statedly fast ; but here also the exception proves the rule. He who did not fast statedly was the only one born of woman who was untainted by sinful flesh ; which seems to imply, that all who are natural descendants of guilty Adam ought to fast.

He bade His disciples to fast. Consider his implied precept, which is an express command to those who obey the Law of Liberty. “ When thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face, that thou appear not unto men to fast.” Matt. vi. 17, 18.

Consider, moreover, the general austere character of C tian obedience, as enjoined by our LORD;—a circumstance much to be insisted on in an age like this, when what is really self-indulgence is thought to be a mere moderate and innocent use of this world's goods. I will but refer to a few, out of many texts, which I am persuaded are now forgotten by numbers of educated and amiable men who are fond of extolling what they call the mild, tolerant, enlightened spirit of the Gospel. Matt. v. 29, 30. vii. 13, 14. x. 37-39. Mark ix. 43–50. x. 25. Luke xiv. 12. 26–33.

And reflect, too, whether the spirit of texts such as the following will not move every true member of the Church Militant. The ark, and Israel, and Judah abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink?... as thou liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing." 2 Sam. xi. 11.

Now take the example of the Apostles. St. Peter was fasting, when he had the vision which sent him to Cornelius : Acts x. 10. The prophets and teachers at Antioch were fasting, when the Holy Ghost revealed to them His purpose about Saul and Barnabas : Acts iii. 2, 3. Vide also Acts xiv. 23. 2 Cor. vi. 5. xi. 27.

Weigh well the following text, which I am persuaded many men would deny to be St. Paul's writing, had not a gracious Providence preserved to us the epistle containing it. “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection ; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away." 1 Cor. ix. 27.

4. Lastly, Consider the practice of the Primitive Christians.

The following account of the early Christian Fasts, is from Bingham, Antiq. lib. xxi.

The QUADRAGESIMAL OR Lent fast.—“The Quadragesimal Fast before Easter,” says Sozomen, some observe six weeks, as the Illyrian and Western Churches, and all Libya, Egypt, and Palestine; others make it seven weeks, as the Constantinopolitans and neighbouring nations as far as Phænicia; others fast three only of those six or seven weeks, by intervals; others the three weeks next immediately before Easter."

The manner of observing Lent among those that were piously disposed to observe it, was to abstain from all food till evening. For anciently a change of diet was not reckoned a fast; but it consisted in perfect abstinence from all sustenance for the whole day till evening.

THE FastS OF THE FOUR SEASONS.—The next Anniversary fasting days were those which were called Jejunia quatuor temporum, the Fasts of the Four Seasons of the Year..... These were at first designed ..... to beg a blessing of God upon the several seasons of the year, or to return thanks for the benefits received in each of them, or to exercise and purify both body and soul in a more particular manner, at the return of these certain terms of stricter discipline and more extraordinary devotion. [These afterwards became the Ember Fasts.]

Monthly Fasts.-In some places they had also Monthly Fasts throughout the year excepting in the two months of July and August..... because of the sickness of the season.

WEEKLY Fasts.-Besides these they their weekly Fasts on Wednesday and Friday, called the Stationary Days, and Half-Fasts, or Fasts of the Fourth and Sixth Days of the Week...... These Fasts being of continual use every week throughout the Year, except in the Fifty Days between Easter and Pentecost, were not kept with that rigour and strictness which was observed in the time of Lent.....(but) ordinarily held no longer than 9 o'clock, i. e. 3 in the afternoon.

The Feast of the Circumcision.


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Athanasius' Creed . . . . ought thoroughly to be received and believed ; for (it) may be proved by most certain warrants of holy Scripture." - Article vini.

I look back with much pleasure to the visit I had from my friend Mr. Woodnott, the Bristol Merchant I before spoke of.

He stayed with me some days, and we had many agreeable rambles and discussions together, which were to me peculiarly interesting, from the wide experience he had had of men and things, and of places too, as he had been often abroad, in Switzerland, in Turkey, and on different parts of the American Continent, where he had spent some years.

Two or three days after our meeting with Richard Nelson, as stated before, we took our walk (it being a pleasant evening towards the end of August,) along the side of a little stream, which we traced for a mile or two down the valley, returning by a kind of natural terrace, which terminated in my favourite beech-walk. The sun was low when we got here ; and we stood still, it was not far from Nelson's garden hedge,) to admire its rich glow on the opposite side of the valley. I was pointing out to my friend a bold and almost mountainous outline of hills rising in the distance, far to the west in Lancashire, Pendle-hill, as I fancied, and other lofty tracts in the neighbourhood of Clitheroe ; and we were speculating on the distance they might be from us.

“ Sir," said a voice, which startled me, from my not observing that any one was near, “ Pendle-hill must be full fifty miles off; what you see is most likely some of the high ground beyond Halifax."

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Why, Richard,” said I, " what are you doing down there ?" for I could scarcely see more than his head—" you seem to be making a strong entrenchment round your castle.”

“ I dare say, Sir,” he answered, “ you may wonder what I am about; but at this time of year, when the springs are low, I

generally spend an hour, when I have leisure in an evening, in repairing the garden-mound, that it may be fit to stand against the assaults of what I call my two winter enemies."

“ What can they be ?” I asked ; " I did not know that you had any enemies."

Yes, Sir, I have," he replied ; " at least my garden had two, land-floods, and Scotch ponies. Almost every winter, once, if not twice, there is a violent land-flood from the high-ground behind the house ; and if this ditch were not kept clear, to take the water off immediately, the garden would not recover the damage all the next year. To be sure, this kind of flood does not commonly last many hours ; but that is long enough, you know, Sir, to spoil the labour of weeks and months."

" That I can understand," I answered ; “ but how you can be in any alarm about Highland ponies, I cannot imagine."

• Why," said he, " you know, Sir, that there is a fair at the town every year, early in the Spring, where a great many of these ponies are bought and sold ; and for many years past, Mr. Saveall, the owner of this field, has let it for one day and night to the horsedealer, (a well known man out of Lincolnshire,) to turn those ponies into, as well as other horses he may have purchased at the fair. The first year I was here, I was not aware of this custom, and had taken no precaution against it; so these little mountaineers got in at a weak place in the hedge during the night, and trod the garden, as one may say, to a mummy. So, to protect myself for the future against such mischievous visitors, I put this fence along, which I was now repairing. And if you will please to look at it, I think you, Sir, will allow that it was not badly contrived, though I say it, who should not say it.”

All along the whole length of the garden, (which might be perhaps nearly one hundred yards,) on that side which was next the foot-path, he had fixed very neatly, about half way up the slope of the ditch on the opposite side, a double indented line of


sharp strong stakes, pointing upwards, presenting a sort of chevaux de frise ; an impenetrable barrier, which no pony, highland or lowland, could possibly get through or over.

We said something in commendation of his skill and precaution : on which he observed ; “ I am glad, Sir, you approve of what I have done; for it has cost me a good deal of labour. And my neighbour, Farmer Yawn, who has been standing by me for the last three quarters of an hour, and went away just as you came up, he says, I am taking a deal of trouble, and very likely for nothing ; how can I be sure there will be a land flood, or that the man well turn in the ponies ? and besides, (says he,) neither landflood nor ponies would stay twelve hours. But I know better, Sir, than to take Mr. Yawn's advice ; for if my bit of garden should be ruined for a twelvemonth, it would be no comfort afterwards to think, that perhaps it might not have happened, or that the mischief was quickly done, or that with timely caution it might have been prevented."

After a few more words we wished him a good evening, and walked on for some little way in silence, which my companion put an end to by saying, “ It must be confessed that our friend Nelson is a sensible man; and not the less so, (added he, with a smile,) because I am sure he will agree with me in opinion.”

For in the course of our walk we had been discussing rather earnestly the subject of the Athanasian Creed ; the question between us not being as to the doctrines contained in it, but as to the expediency of retaining it in the Liturgy, supposing any changes should take place in that also, as in every thing else. Not that there was any real difference of opinion between us on that point either ; but wishing to know his views on the subject, I had been urging the various objections, such of them at least as are more plausible, and had been gratified with observing how little weight he attached to them; and my satisfaction was the greater, because, from his education and profession, as a layman and a merchant, he could not be accused of what have been scornfully designated as “ academical and clerical prejudices."

In the course of our conversation he had expressed himself most earnestly in favour of the Athanasian Creed ; alleging, for this his opinion, various reasons, and among others the following ;

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