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learn to do well who have been accustomed to evil?-a miracle so great, that the Prophet Jeremiah says,
“ the Ethiopian may as soon change his skin, or the leopard his spots." Yet this miracle has God, in all ages, wrought by the instrumentality of his Holy Word, and by means of those ministers of the same, whom he hath called and sent. Except those, the Church recognizes none; and therefore doth this Prayer mention particularly our Bishops and Curates, and all congregations committed to their charge;" committed by authority; committed by the Church ; part and parcel of which is the State itself. The word Curate here, means any one to whom the cure or care of souls is confided, and not stipendiary Curates only, as some grossly conceive. The words 66
Bishops” and “ Curates” have strangely distressed several of our halfdissenting congregations, who use, to the Church's prejudice, the Prayers of the Church, and whose ministers (conscious that they presume to officiate as Dathan and Abiram, or as Korah and his assembly officiated, without being duly authorized, without episcopal ordination, and conscious that no cure of souls is lodged in their hands) drop the words Bishops and Curates, and substitute Preachers of the Gospel, or Gospel Ministers ;--to such miserable straights are they reduced who depart from consistency, and who venture to use the Church's Liturgy, whilst they have neither the courage nor the charity to pray for the Church. However, from hence we may draw an argument of the excellency of the Liturgy, which induces even the Church's enemies, the revilers of her Bishops and Curates, her Orders of Priests and Deacons, the despisers and
opposers of her
very frame and constitution to use it ;— notwithstanding they, by so doing, expose themselves to an impeachment of their consistency, and the condemnation of principles and practices.
May God defend his Church from all its foes! May he “ send down upon our Bishops and Curates, and all congregations committed to their charge the healthful Spirit of his grace;" and may they ever be refreshed with “ the continual dew of his blessing," through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Coloss. iv, 2.
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with
CONTINUE instant, with all your might, in prayer, and be vigilant in the same, with giving of thanks;"—thus the text may be paraphrastically rendered. It is not enough to pray, but we must pray påssionately, and with an earnest desire to be heard; we must pray, as the Church Catechism instructs us, to love God, “ with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, and with all our strength.” We must suffer no remissness to slacken our
devotion, no drowsiness to creep upon us; we must be intent upon prayer, and vigilant in it; and we must add to petitions for mercies to come, thanksgivings for those which we have received.
The Church not only supplies us with admirable offices of devotion, but, lest sameness should pall our appetite for prayer, she industriously varies them;they differ in form, matter, and length; and also, lest our faculties, kept too long upon the stretch, should experience fatigue, the intensity of supplication, which pervades them all, varies in degree. And not only so, but some of her more ardent intercessions are repeated but at intervals, and with the intermission of one or more days; and upon those solemn occasions, only in one of her services, and not indiscriminately, both at Morning and Evening Prayer. Thus does our nursing mother,