Obrazy na stronie
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

invisible Church are united in one bond of fellowship and have the
same object of FAITH and WORSHIP.
He who liveth for ever and ever

’ is gloriously present with his people
in Heaven, and he is also with his faithful servants upon earth by the
power of his Spirit. In an especial manner is he present in the assem. Lic
blies of the righteous at the seasons of public worship, for this was his !
own promise left as a sacred depositum when he said " where two or three
are gathered together in my name, there am I in the niidst of them!

When we enter into the house of prayer, it should be our first thought to consider that tlie KING OF Glory holds his court there; and that he beholds the heart, the affections, and the deportment of every one in his presence. He is in the midst of the worshipping assembly to hear their supplications, and to receive their praises. How cateful then ought we to be not to offend his Divine Majesty by wandering thoughts, or by a careless and irreverent behaviour ! 'If He is present . who liveth for ever and ever," should we not be filled with a solemnity becoming sinful creatures and ought we not to fall prostrate before him with penitent and contrite hearts that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need?

The various orders of happy spirits above, feel it their duty and their felicity to humble themselves in the lowest posture before his throne; and when we are called upon to assemble ourselves at his levee or court below (if I may so speak) shall we vile and corrupt as we are, presume to appear before him in a flippant and careless manner? The wisest of men, and himself a mighty Sovereign bath taught us a contrary, conduct

: Keep thy foot when thou guest into the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to offer the sacrifice of fools." Eccles. v. l.

If it be a blessed privilege to be thus admitted into the courts of our God and to know that he will accept our sacrifices and oblations through the merits and intercession of his Son; if it is an honourable and comfortable distinction to unite with Angels and Archangels, with Seraphim and Cherubim, in singing the praises of our Creator, Redeemer service by a due examination of our minds, so that we may come into the and Sanctifier, it becomes us to prepare ourselves for the solemn temple of the Lord with seriousness and reverence.

On our entering into the sanctuary, the language of the patriarch Jacob, will be a proper meditation for us, “ how dreadful is this place, it is no other than the house of God, and this the gate of Heaven!”

In the progress of the service we should be collected, attentive and devout ; marking the different parts by a correspondent disposition and deportment. When we are hearing the word of exhortation and instruction, let our countenance and gesture, manifest that it is duly respected by us. In confession and prayer, let us humble ourselves in a lowly posture before the divine majesty ; and when his praises are sung, let us stand up us the Angels in Heaven do round about the throne of God and the Lamb.

Many persons accustom themselves to a very unbecoming posture and to irregular practises in public worship. When they ought to kneel, they stand or sit ; and that particularly in the most humiliating parts of the service, as when they are confessing their manifold sins and wicked. ness, and supplicating the forgiveness of their offences, and the aid of

[ocr errors]

divine grace. Where the lowliest of all positions ought to be adopted, the generality in Christian assemblies sit at their ease, as if they were hearing an idle tale, or had no concern at all in the petitions then presented to the Almighty. It is lamentable to see how greatly this irreverent and irreligious practice has spread itself throughout all our Churches. You may observe a few devout souls here and ihere humbly kneeling down in the aisles where they have but indifferent accommodations, but if you look into the well-lined, seated, and furnished pews, the elegant worshippers think it quite sufficient to lean a little forward and to whisper the prayers after the minister*. Even when the high praises of God require us to stand up with holy joy and to join in the gratefulascriptions of thanksgiving with all our brethren, the greater part loll at their ease, contented with reading the psalm to themselves, and in attending to the voices of the singers and charity children.

Thus we have the form of worship, but where is the spirit of it? This is not to come before the Lord with an acceptable sacrifice, but merely as a matter of course and of common decency. Had we right notions concerning the intent of public worship, and minds properly disposed for the service, we should manifest the same by a very different behaviour. It would then be seen that we not only confessed with our lips that we are sinners, but that we felt in our hearts the necessity of supplicating pardon and mercy. Every confession and petition would with such a disposition of heart be breathed out with fervour ; and every acknowledgment of God's loving kindness, especially in the redemption of the world, would be expressed with that warmth of affection which shews that we have a due sense of the inestimable gift.

It is to be feared that too many persons professing much zeal for religion have mean notions of public worship ; and go to Church rather to hear some admired preacher, than to join in the devotional services of our excellent Church. They are impatient till the prayers are ended, and it is observable that many purposely absent themselves till the service is nearly finished. This is particularly the case, with respect to those who follow what are called, but very improperly, evangelical or gospel preachers. Herein they do but imitate certain fanaticks of old, who made the whole of public service consist in lecturing. But if these persons had right notions of religion, they would learn to value public prayers more highly than preaching. Doctrines and duties are easily learnt in private, and though it is very necessary that they should be frequently urged and explained from the pulpit; yet the people ought to be carefully reminded that the privilege they enjoy of entering into communion with saints and angels, in public worship is of infinitely more consequence to them. In these services we learn both doctrines and duties, which is an important consideration, though but too little regarded. If we had no sins to confess, no blessings to be thankful for, no grace to supplicate, then we might go to Church merely to be amused with hearing a pathetic and elegant discourse, finely

* It must, however, be noted that in most Churches both in the Metropolis and Country parishes, there is a shameful want of hussocks, which furnishes many persons wiih an excuse for the indolent and irreverent posture of sitting during the time of prayer. The Churchwardens should take care that all the pews be sufficiently supplied with these conveniencies. l'ol. V. Churchm. Mag. for Oct. 1803.



Jelivered. But if we regard ourselves, as we are taught in Scripture to do, miserable sinners, we shall enter into the sanctuary of God, with trembling hearts, and join in the solemn services thereof with humility, and earnest. ness. We shall hereby be disposed to hear the word of God with attention, with judgement, and with profit. And the seed thus falling into prepared ground will bring forth to the glory of God, and our everlasting benefit, the genuine fruits of righteousness, " some thirty, some sixty, and some an hundred fold.” September 15, 1203.

J. W.



I Church, Southwark, in order to search for the burial place of Bishop Wickham, some time Bishop of Winchester, a collateral descendant of the famous William of Wickham, who held that See in the time of our third Edward. Bishop Wickham, a direct ancestor of the Rt. Hon. William Wickham, now principal Secretary of State in Ireland, preached the funeral sermon, at the interment of Mary Queen of Scots. The site of his grave cannot be ascertained; but I found his name correctly entered in the burial register.

St. Saviour's is an ancient, untouched, ecclesiastical edifice, and contains many interesting monuments.

That of the poet Gower, who was a benefactor to the Church, ha's most creditably to the parish, been completely repaired, without modernszation. Where I remember seeing black plaster, scaling off from the wall, the place is now made good with black marble.

At the eastern extremity of the Church, in a little Chapel, is the monument of Bishop Andrews. His Figure in the Robes appropriate to the Prelate of the order of the Garter, lies at full length recumbent on his tomb. It is made of some sort of composition, I think artists calls it Bisket; but being not very hard, it is considerably mutilated. Pity but some pious hand would repair it !-Bishop Andrews's epitaph consists merely of an extract from Bp. Laud's diary; (Laud was then Bishop of Bath and Wells).

Sep. 21. Die Lunæ Horâ matutinâ fere quarta, Lancelotus An

drews, Episcopus Winton meritissimus, Lumen Orbis Christiani, mortuus est.

Ephemeris Laudiana. An. Dom. 1626; Ætat. suæ 71.

Several years since, I remember noticing the following lines on a monument, not far from the Altar, “ dedicated by Peter Humble, gentleman, to the pious memory of Richurd Humble, Alderman of London.” &c.

“ Like to the Damask Rose you see,
Or like the Blossom on the Tree,
Or like the Dainty Flower of May,
Or like the Morning of the Day,

Or like

Or like the Sun, or like the shade,
Or like the Gourd which Jonas had,

Even so is man; whose Thread is spun,

Drawn out, and cut, and so is done.
The Rose withers, the Blossom blasteth,
The Flower fades, the Morning hasteth,
The Sun sets, the Shadow fies,

The Gourd consumes, and Man he dies." R. Humble, it seems, was buried Ap. 13,1616. I discovered yester. day the writer of these lines, which, together with a second Stanza, oce cur in Ellis's “specimens of the early English poets;" vol. 2. p. 325. They are taken from a book printed in 1629, called Microbilion, (which I conclude could not have been Maya xaxoy,) composed by Simor Wastell, entered of Queen's Coll. Oxford, 1580, and afterwards master of the Free. school at Northampton: perhaps Wastell wrote these lines on purpose for Humble's monument, and afterwards added more to them when he published his book, which was printed 13 years after Humble's death. I Lranscribe the additional lines.

5. Like to the grass that's newly sprungu
Or like a tale that's new begun,
Or like the bird that's here to-day.
Or like the pearled dew of May,
Or like an hour, or like a span,
Or like the singing of a Swan;

Even such is Man; who lives by breathe

Is here, now there, in life and death,
The grass withers, the tale is ended,
The bird is flown, the dew's ascended,
The hour is short, the span not long,
The Swan's near death, Man's life is done."

I am, Gentlemen,

Yours, &c. October 8, 1803.





THE following letter was sent to Mr. Ludlam, on my hearing, that he

was engaged in preparing for the press, a work, just published at Cambridge; entitled, “ Logical Tructs, comprising observations and Essays illustrative of Mr. Locke's treatise upon the rumun Understanding; with occasional remarks on the writings of the two Scottsih Professors, Reid and Stewart, upon the same subject; and a preface in vindication of Mr. Locke, against the mistakes and misrepresentations of the late Mr. Milner, of Hull; Dr. Horne, Bishop of Norwich; Mr. Kett,



Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford ; and Dr. Napleton, Canon of Hereford.” As my letter did not reach Mr. Lulam, till it was too late for the subject of it to be noticed in his work, I send it to be inserted in yours, that it may have a chance of exciting the attention, and exercising the talents of some of your correspondents. I the rather send it, on account of its having some reference to the controversy respecting the Intermediate State, on which you have lately presented your readers with so many ingenious papers. All our knowledge on that subject must be derived from one or other of these two sources :

1. The nature of the human soul, as discoverable by its operations. 2. The declarations of scripture respecting it.

I am, Gentlemen,

Yours, &c. Oct. 12, 1803.

E, P.

To the Red. Thomas Ludlam, Leicester. DEAR SIR, IT has just occurred to me, that there is an inconsistency in Mr. Locke's Essay, that wonderful effort of human genius, on which you are, I find, preparing some remarks for the press, which may be deserving of your notice, but which, perhaps, has escaped your observation.

It is, you know, Mr. Locke's opinion, that the soul does not always think, “I confess myself,” says he, “to have one of those dull souls, that doth not perceive itself always to contemplate ideas, nor can I conceive it any more necessary for ihe soul always to think, than for the body always to move ; the perception of ideas being (as I conceive) to the soul, what motion is to the body, not its essence, but one of its operations: and therefore, though thinking be supposed never so much the proper action of the soul; yet it is not necessary to suppose, that it should be always thinking, always in action.” B. 2. Chap. 1. Sect. 10. Afterwards, however, he makes thinking to be, not only the proper action, but the primary and distinguishing quality of the soul; not what motion is to the body, but what ertension is to the body; which is making it, if not the essence, yet an essential quality of the soul; that quality, without which the soul cannot be, any niore than the body can be without extension. The primary ideas we have peculiar to body, as contradistinguished to spirit, are the cohcsion of solid, and consequently separable parts, and a power of communicating motion by impulse. The ideas we have belonging and peculiar to spirit, are thinking, and will, or á power of putting body into motion by thought.” B. 2, Chap. 23, Sect. 17 and 18. Again, our idea of body, as I think, is an extended solid substance, capable of communicating motion by impulse : and our idea of our soul, as an immaterial spirit, is of a substance that thinks, and has a power of exciting motion in body by will or thought. These, I think, are our complex ideas of soul and body, as contra-dis inguished,

-People are apt to say, they cannot comprehend a thinking thing, which, perhaps, is true ; but I affirm, when they consider it well

, they can no more comprehend an extended thing." B. 2, Chap. 23, Sect. 22. Now, we know, that the primary qualities of body, such as extension,


« PoprzedniaDalej »