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Vasie, Mr. Chase Water Mine, Cornwall. Vincent, Mr. R. Orston.
Waller, J. Esq. Hill House, Clapham.
and A.S. Wright, W.W. Esq. Bermondsey.
MARK xi. 17.
And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written,
My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer?
The passage of Scripture alluded to by our Saviour in the text, is found in the seventh verse of the fifty-sixth chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. --The Gentiles had a court in the temple at Jerusalem, called by their name. All the nations of the world had an interest in the God who was worshipped in that temple; but when the Jews, as a people, had rejected the mercy of God offered to them in the gospel; when the Gentiles were
received into the bosom of the church; when the veil of the temple, which concealed the Holy of Holies from the view of the congregation, was rent in twain; and the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile was broken down ;—the local sanctity of the individual temple at Jerusalem was at an end. Believers were at liberty to worship wheresoever they pleased. On any convenient spot on the face of the earth they might erect houses to God, wherein the faithful might assemble to address their prayers unto their common Father; secure of being heard when they met in the name of Christ, and preferred their petitions through the great Mediator between God and man. We may style the House of God, then, wheresoever it stands, the House of Prayer.
It is my intention to dedicate a few sermons to the consideration of the Liturgy;
those parts of it, I mean, more particularly, which are of constant use in the daily service of the Church. You will find that this will occasion the introduction and the discussion of a vast number of interesting matters, touching both doctrine and discipline, arising out of, or closely connected with, the subject proposed.
The Church of England is not singular in providing a form for those who meet in the house of prayer. It is matter of fact, that the ancient Jews, our Saviour, his apostles, and the primitive Christians, used a precomposed form of prayer. The arrangement of the ancient Jewish Liturgy was very similar to our own. We know that our Lord was a constant attendant on the public worship of his country's established church; and therefore he certainly used its Liturgy. The Liturgy which the Jews at present make use of, they assert, is of very great antiqùity; and they say truly. Our Lord taught his disciples one prayer, which has been used in the Christian Church from the very first. Several liturgies of the primitive Church yet remain ; — we have the Litur of St. Peter, St. James; St. Basil, who flourished in the year of our Lord 370, and St. Chrysostom, who adorned the church about the year 390. As to liturgies of Churches, we have those of the East ; that of the ancient general Greek Church ; that of the Armenian Church; the Liturgy of the Maronites, and that of the Copts in Egypt :-we have the African and Spanish Liturgies. The Roman Liturgy, framed in successive ages, survives; and we have the Gallican Liturgy; and the Ambrosian Liturgy used at Milan, and many others formed on the model of the Roman Liturgy. A perfect uniformity of prayer