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tor, who should turn his back upon the cient answer, that, even if this portion assembly he addressed, would not more of the service bad been read, during surely destroy bis influence, than the the past year, on every sabbath, falling advocate in sacred things, who should on the twenty-second day of the month, venture upon holy ground, with his it would have been read only twice in shoes
upon his feet; and, excited by the the whole twelve months ; once in July, sharpest animosity towards his neigh- and once in April ! boor, whom he is commanded to love, The expressions “ Moab shall be my pour out the bitterness of a wicked spi- washpot, and over Edom will I cast out rit, as it were, at the footstool of his God. my shoe,” seem to have met this wri
There is no expression of peculiar ter's entire disapprobation. This is severity, over the whole record of con- unfortunate, for the psalm is obviously troversial divinity, however satisfactory one of the number, selected from the to the unconsecrated feelings of the whole body, because of particular beauwriter and his party for an hour, which ty and excellence. There is often, in has not grated on the ear, and produced scripture, a sententious and comprea revulsion in the heart of every sincere hensive brevity, which conveys little and humble Christian. Who can imao to the ear of him, who is rather disposed gine such service will be acceptable to to exclaim, “ all is barren,” than to asthat God, with whom the spear and the sociate any thing to the literal in. sword are an unworthy sacrifice, com- terpretation of the text before him. pared with the broken and the contrite After reading the objections, I turn. heart?
ed to the psalm itself, and read it over, These thoughts were especially sug. with very particular care, and with an gested, by the recollection of a pam- impression, that the writer of the pam. phlet, which I met with a year since, phlet, when gathering together bis ob. entitled a “Letter from a congregation. jectionable matters, might have added alist to a friend, on the subject of the cviii. psalm to his parcel by mistake. joining the new episcopalian church,” In the midst of my admiration, that &c. ; a production, remarkably deficient any man of taste, piety, or sentiment in one particular, essential to all com- should object to the reading of this porfortable discussion, I mean a suitable tion of scripture, on the twenty-second spirit of courtesy and Christian can. or any other day of the month, I found dour. How far the pereinptory and myself already engaged in a version. violent style of this performance may If the measure be inappropriate I think have passed currently for power, I have it must be so only because it is unusual ; little curiosity to know. It is not my but, in this, I am very possibly mistaintention to interfere with its destiny, ken. I believe it has very little merit, nor to recall it, excepting in a single but it is at your service, if you please, particular, to the minds of those who for publication. perused it, and by whom it is possibly forgotten.
Paratum cor meum. The pamphleteer directs his objections against the cviii. psalm, as part of My heart now is ready, 'tis ready to sing the church service, which must be read, Thy praises, Jehovah, my God, and my king!
The best of my members, my heart and my on every sabbath, falling on the twenty
tongue, second day of the month. It is perfect- Shall praise thee, Jehovah, with harp and ly germaine to this objection, to advert
with song! to the fact, which is explicitly stated, in the book of common prayer, that Awake then, my harp, and right early will I.
In slumber no longer, my lute, shalt thou lie ; the minister may read it or omit it at In the midst of ihe people, my thanks shall his discretion. It is also a very suffi. ascend,
And I'll sing forth thy praises, while nations purpose, among the Israelites. Christ attend.
is our 'God' who hath saved us, accordThy mercy is greater than heaven is high ;
ing to his covenant and promise ; he is Thy truth is a pillar, that reaches the sky.
our 'King' who hath set up the univer: O God, in the highest, appear on thy throne, sal and everlasting kingdom, foretold And, o'er the broad earth, let thy glory bé by Daniel, and the other prophets ; shown.
who hath all power in heaven and
earth ;' and who 'must reign till be To save thy beloved, thy chosen to spare, Be thy right hand extended, and hear thou hath put all enemies under his feet, my pray's.
and swallowed up death in victory. In And now, in his heart, shall thy servant re- the mean time it is the daily employ. joice,
ment of us, bis redeemed subjects and For God hath, ip holiness, lifted his voice.
servants, to chant forth the praises of The pastures of Sichem my hand shall divide, his saving and glorious name, with And mete out the valley of Succoth beside.
which the church on earth and in For me is Manasses, and Gilead for me, heaven will resound for ever and And Ephraim's strength as my helmet shall
By examining the prayer-book, you In the waters of Moab my feet will I lave,
will perceive, my brethren, that the My lawgiver Juda, and Edom my slave ; morning and evening services are enO'er Edom I'll cast out my shoe, in disdain, titled “the order for daily morning And triumph, on haughty Philistia's plain. and evening prayer.” In the calendar But who into Edom's strong city shall bring,
also, lessons are prescribed for every If thou wilt not guide us, my God, and my day in the year; and, according to this King ?
arrangement, the old testament, with Hast thou not forsaken us? wilt thou not go, the exception of a few passages, is And lead forth our armies to vanquish the read once; the whole of the new foe?
testament, excepting the Revelations, O, help then, my God, for man's help is a
is read three times; and the book of reed,
Psalms twelve times, in the course of But thou art a shield and a buckler indeed ; each year. Such having been the oriThe battle is ours, if thine ear but incline ; Tie praise and the glory, Jehovah, are thine. ginal design of our service, I shall en.
deavour, my brethren, to show you ils propriety and utility.
I. Under the Mosaick dispensation, SERMON.-No. XII.
an express provision for THE PROPRIETY AND UTILITY OF The morning and evening service, in the
temple, throughout the year. The Psalm cxlv. 1, 2.
I will extol thee, priests were divided into twenty-four my God and King; and I will bless courses, who were to serve in rotation, thy name for ever and ever... Every Thus we read of Zachariah, the father
each company by itself for a week.* day will I bless thee, and I will praise of John the Baptist ; that he was of the thy name for ever and ever.
course of Abia ;t that," while he exe. "The same divine person,” says the cuted the priest's office before God, in pious bishop Horne, in his commentary the order of his course, his lot was to “ the same divine
burn incense when he went into the
per son, who was, in a peculiar manner, temple of the Lord ;” and that, “ the 'God' and · King of Israel, now
soon as the days of his ministration standeth in those relations to the gen. were accomplished, he departed to his tile Christian church, and by her is 'ex
* 1 Chron. xxiv. tolled in the words of this psalm, ori. + 1 Chron. xxiv. 10. The course of Abia, ginally composed and used for that or A bijah, was the eighth in order.
DAILY SERVICE OF GOD.
on this passage,
St. Luke further men. afforded the most weighty reason which tions, that while Zachariah was in the could be urged, for the omission of a holy place, burning incense, “the daily attendance; but, in her case, exwhole multitude of the people were cuses were not sought for! praying without at the time of incense.” It is to be observed further, that she
The incense, thus offered by the served God in the temple, night and priest, and always ascending at the day. This expression means a conmoment of prayer, was intended to stant attendance at the stated hours of u signify, that the prayers, even of the prayer in the morning and evening: most righteous servants of God, are ren- worship. The daily sacrifices, offered a dered acceptable to him, only through in the temple, are called the perpetual, the merits and mediation of that great the never-ending, the continual sacriHigh Priest, who ever liveth to make fices. They were always offered be. intercession for us, our Lord and Sa- tween nine and twelve in the morning, viour Jesus Christ.f If, then, by the and between three and six in the evenexpress appointment of God, the priest ing. If the sacrifices thus offered was daily burning incense on the golden were called perpetual, then the prayers ! altar within the sanctuary, it was a offered, at stated hours, may also be necessary accompaniment of this act, called perpetual. In this sense, St. that the whole inultitude of the people Paul exhorts Christians to pray without should also be daily assembled to pray ceasing, and, in bis speech before king in the outer court.
Agrippa, he applies the same expression, When our Saviour was to be circum- with which St. Luke speaks of the aged cised, eight days after his birth, bis Anna, to the whole Jewish nation. “I parents carried him, for that purpose, stand,” says he, “and am judged for to the temple ; and there we find the the hope of the promise made of God just and devout Simeon, and the aged unto our fathers, unto which promise, daughter of Phanuel, waiting for the our twelve tribes, instantly serving God, consolation of Israel. I Of the latter, day and night, hope to come. The St. Luke says, that she “departed not promise, to which the apostle refers, is from the temple, but served God, with that of a resurrection to eternal life; fastings and prayers, night and day.” and in the hope of coming to that It is to be observed here, that a continual proniise, the whole nation of Israel, attendance upon the service of the tem- says the apostle, instantly. or with the ple is said to be a service to God. utmost ardour, serve God, day and Our prayers, therefore, are with pro- night; that is, as I have before observpriety called a service; and if we ed, worship bim daily, at the stated can be so diligent in our service to hours of the temple service. ourselves and our fellow men, ought we Wherever a Jew happened to be, not to be at least equally diligent in whether in his own or in a foreign the service of our God? The age of country, he always prayed at the apthe pious female, wbo gave this con- pointed hours; and he turned bis face 'stant attendance, is also worthy of our toward the temple, to denote, that, if notice. St. Luke tells us, that she he were in Jerusalem, it would be his was eighty-four years old; and yet, duty and his delight to tread its sacred notwithstanding the greatness or the courts, and also to impress the more infirmities of her age, she served God strongly upon his own mind, that he in the teinple, night and day. The was uniting with the rest of his nation infirmities of old age would surely have in that holy service. Behold then, O * Luke i. 5. 8, 9. 23.
Christian, the twelve tribes, instantly + See Rev. v. 8. comp. with viii, 3, 4. serving God, day and night ; a whole | Luke ii. 37.
nation bending low on their knees, and
at the same hours, in the morning and evening services for every day in the evening of each day, uttering their fer. week. In a word, there are scarcely vent prayers before God! it not a any Christians, in any part of the spectacle deserving of our imitation ? world, who do not provide for, and If we have the same hopes, and the practise the daily publick worship of same promises of a resurrection to God; and it was owing only to the eternal life, ought we not to use the unhappy disputes which arose between same means,“ instantly serving God, the dissenters and the church of Engnight and day ?!!
land, that, both in the parent country What was thus the practice of the and her colonies, the daily services of whole nation, we may be very sure the sanctuary have fallen so much into was not omitted by that blessed Saviour disuse. In England, the practice of whom it behooved to fulfil all righteous. daily worship still prevails, in several ness. Jesus, when he was in Jerusa- churches in the cities and large towns, lem, was, as he says.of himself, daily in the colleges, cathedrals, episcopal in the temple.* There he prayed; there chapels, and at the courts of their he taught the people; there he wrought princes. In- this country, the inust his miracles. His Fatber's house, as which be done is to have divine he emphatically said, was the house of service every Wednesday and Friday, prayer.
and on the fasts and festivals. Yet I In like manner, after his ascension, need not add, that these are generally bis disciples continued to pursue the neglected, and that the attendant clergy same practice. St. Luke tells us, at have often to experience the sorrow of the end of his gospel, that the apostles seeing here and there only a solitary
were continually in the temple, prais- worshipper, and of hearing only faint la ing and blessing God.”+ And in the articulations of responsive praise and
Acts we read, that “ Peter and John prayer, instead of those loud and fer
went up together into the temple, at vent strains with which the redeemed T the hour of prayer, being the ninth of the Lord, in the remembrance of
hour;"1 that is, according to our com- his daily benefits, should daily bless his putation of time, three o'clock in the holy name. afternoon, the hour of evening prayer. Is it possible, then, my brethren, that
Thus the Christian church received any one can doubt the propriety of the practice from the Jewish. It is embracing every opportunity to wor. well known that the primitive Chris- ship God in publick? Can a practice tians met every day for publick prayers, be considered as unimportant, or as a and the holy communion ; and so com- work of supererogation, which was ori. mon was it to receive the sacrament ginally commanded by God; followed daily, that the petition “ Give us this by the devout and pious of every age ; day our daily bread," was understood observed by the Saviour of the world as involving the request, that they and his apostles; continued in the might every day partake of the Lord's Christian church in all ages; and now supper.
disused only by a comparatively small The same practice was continued in portion of the religious world ? every part of the church till the refor. II. But let us proceed to consider mation ; and since that event, most of the utility of the daily service; for in the reformed churches retain it. The proportion to our consciousness of the liturgy of Geneva, and also that of utility of any practice, will be our perNeufchatel, have distinct morning and ception of its propriety. Every duty * Luke xxi. 53. So xxi. 37, 38.
ought to be performed, indeed, from a + Luke xxiv. 53. | Acts ii. 46.
sense that it is a duty; but the service Durell, p. 34.
which we render is more satisfactory
to our minds, when we know the rea- after you have omitted something, in a sons for which the duty was established. little while, you will be past the scru.
Prayers are to the soul what food is ple of that, and begin to be tempted to to the body. They enable us, in the leave out more. Keep yourself up to language of the apostle, to grow in your usual forms: you may enlarge grace, and in the knowledge of our when you will; but do not contract or Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is lessen them, without a very probable : impossible for any one to continue in reason." The disuse of publick prayer, the practice of sincere and heartfelt not less than of private, produces dis. prayer, without becoming more boly. inclination ; and disinclination will, in Sinful desires and passions are subdu- the end, produce aversion. ed; virtuous habits and inclinations are A constant attendance upon publick strengthened; our knowledge of the worship, not only preserves a constant divine perfections is enlarged ; a deep use of the liturgy, but increases con humility and sense of our dependence tinually our knowledge of the scripupon God is excited; and that peace, tures. I have already observed, that, which passeth all understanding, is if the church were opened daily durproduced in our souls. By a daily ing the course of each year, the Chrisattendance upon the worship of the tian worshipper would hear the old sanctuary, this “
daily bread" of the testament read ibrough once, and the soul would be provided for ; and it new testament three times; and he would become as habitual to partake would besides read the psalms twelve of this mental nurture and nourishment, times. What a familiar' acquaintance as it is to partake of food for the daily would this produce with the book of sustenance and refreshment of our bo. life! “ Search the scriptures,” said dies. Pray often,” says the pious our Saviour, “ for they are they which bishop Taylor, * "and you shall pray testify of me." oftener; and when you are accustomed This union, then, of daily prayer, to a frequent devotion, it will so in- and daily hearing the word of God, sensibly unite to your nature and affec would imprint upon our minds a con• tions, that it will become trouble to stant sense of religion and virtue; serve omit your usual or appoinied prayers: as a daily check to the manifold tempand what you obtain at first, by doing tations of the world, to which they who violence to your inclinations, at last never pray will inevitably fall a sacriwill not be left without as great unwil. fice; and it serves as a week's prepalingness, as that by which at first it ration for the more solemn discharge of entered. This rule relies not only our duties on the Lord's day. upon reason, derived from the nature But there is one consideration which of habits, which turn into a second na. will, I am persuaded, have very great ture, and make their actions easy, influence upon the mind of every pious frequent, and delightful : but it relies Christian ; and that is, that, by a due upon a reason depending upon the na. attendance upon the daily service, our ture and constitution of grace, whose souls are kept in habitual readiness to productions are of the same nature receive their suinmons, when it shall with the parent, and increases itself, please God to call them from the church naturally growing up from grains to on earth to the church in glory. The huge trees, from minute to vast pro. worship of God in heaven is publick. portions, and from moments to eternity. It is one universal chorus of consenting But be sure not to omit your usual hearts and united voices. The daily prayers without great reason, though service of God on earth is, therefore, without sin it may be done ; because, a daily preparation for that service in * Holy Living, c. 4. s. 7.
heaven, in which the hours of prayer,