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compliance and compromise with sloth, has been that of dedicating half an hour longer, on a Sunday morning, to bed. “ How long wilt thou sleep, 0 sluggard ? (these are Solomon's words :) - When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep ?-Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep.” Now, surely the best way of remedying this mighty evil, which some good folks complain of so bitterly, would be, on the morning of the Lord's Day,—the glorious Christian festival, which commemorates, from generation to generation, the rising of the Sun of Righteousness from the dark chamber of the grave,-to leave their beds half an hour earlier,

After the introductory sentences, follows an exhortation to repentance, founded thereon; in which the intention of the Church, in prefacing the whole of its ritual

prayer. The

with an humble confession of sin, is clearly explained. Repentance is always a duty; but particularly so when we are about to draw near unto God in the various instances of worship, in thanksgiving, in praise, in listening to his will as manifested in revelation, and, above all, in

of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord; the praises of God are unseemly, issuing from an impenitent heart, and flowing from unclean lips; thanksgiving ill becomes him who wallows in unacknowledged and habitual sin; and how shall we hear to any good purpose, whose iniquities have quenched the Spirit of the Most High; whose understanding is darkened by vice, perverted by wickedness, and hardened by trespasses ? Hear, he may indeed, but he shall not understand ; see he may, but he shall not perceive :- his heart is waxed gross, his ears are dull of hearing, his eyes hath he closed ;” and, until he turns unto God in contrition and confession, he shall not be converted nor healed in this world, neither can he attain eternal life in the next. Although (saith the exhortation) we ought at all times humbly to acknowledge our sins before God, yet ought we most chiefly—then is it most proper and becoming in us—" so to do, when we assemble and meet together," in order “ to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands; to set forth his most worthy praise; to hear his most holy word; and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul.”—Many congregations begin divine service with praise; some with prayer; some with what chance may bring, or a confused mixture of prayer, praise, thanksgiving, and admonition ;

prayer

whilst others sometimes separate in silence without any public worship. The Church of England, however, prefixes to every thing a penitentiary office ; and here let me say,—they who are not present at it, or they who join in it with the lips alone, negligently, coldly, and formally only, are ill prepared to take a part in the other branches of the service, render ineffectual the wise provisions of the Church, and voluntarily descend to a level with those who presume to offer up praises, to pour forth thanksgivings, or to ask for blessings, before they have humbly confessed their misdoings, and petitioned the Throne of Heavenly Grace for pardon and forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ.

Next to the opening exhortation to repentance, follows the “ General Confession,” as it is styled by the Rubric; which adds, moreover, that it is “ to be said of the whole congregation after the minister, all kneeling. And here I would observe, once for all, that some parts of the Liturgy are ordered to be said by the minister alone, some by the minister and the people conjointly, and some by the people only.—It were no unprofitable study for any one, who wishes to “pray with the understanding,” to read carefully the Rubrics, which will direct his devotions.—The Rubrics have that name, because they were formerly (before printing was in use) written in red characters; and indeed, over much the largest proportion of Christendom, they are still printed, in the office books, in red letters. For want of attention to these brief rules, many people, in the simplicity of their hearts, are guilty of great improprieties, whilst they repeat such parts of the service as do not belong to them, instead of merely listening attentively to him

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