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honour of the Author's candour and justice, who has pronounced, and to the praise of the Liturgy itself, which by the scripturality of its doctrines, the comprehensiveness of its petitions, and the plainness of its language, has merited it, that the following declaration in its favour, proceeds from an eloquent and eminent Dissenting Minister, the Rev. Robert Hall, of Leicester :
“I believe that the evangelical purity of its sentiments, the chastised fervour of its devotion, and the majestic simplicity of its language, have placed it in the very first rank of uninspired compositions."
Similar to this is the language of the Rev. Dr. Morrison, one of the Missionaries, labouring under the patronage of the London Missionary Society, himself a Dissenter,—who, in a Letter to the Directors, dated Canton, Sept. 7, 1817, thus writes :
“I have translated the Morning and Evening Prayers of the Church of England, just as they stand in the Book of Common Prayer, altering only the prayer for the Rulers of the land. These I am printing, together with the Psalter, divided for the thirty days of the month. I intend them as a help to social worship, and as affording excellent and suitable expressions for individual devotion, To me it appeared that the richness of devotional phraseology, the elevated views of the Deity, and the explicit and full recognition of the work of our Lord Jesus Christ, were so many excellencies, that a version of them into Chinese, as long as they are not exclusive,” (or prohibitory of other modes of worship) was better than for me to remodel them.”
From these liberal and Christian attestations, as well as from personal knowledge, the Editor hesitates not to
indulge the delightful hope that the asperities of parties will gradually subside ;-and the time, ere long, arrive, when “the envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off.”
Whilst, however, we lament that any should lightly esteem our Liturgy and Service, it becomes our bounden duty, not only to approve and admire, but also spiritually to use them, lest the greatness of our privileges, and the excellency of our Prayers, enhance our condemnation as careless and unprofitable worshippers. May truth, humility, and spirituality, be the constant qualifications of our congregations !
The Editor begs, in connection with the subject of the preceding Sermons, to recommend to the attention of the readers of these Volumes, a small but excellent Tract, entitled, “ HINTS ON PUBLIC WORSHIP; or, The Churchman instructed in the Use of the Book of Common Prayer.” It is No. 35, of the Publications of the Church of England Tract Society; and may be had of Seely, 169, Fleet-street; and T. Hamilton, 33, Paternoster Row. It might be not only an act of Christian benevolence, but of prudent policy also, widely to circulate this and the other publications of the Society among the poorer members of the Established Church, that they may become so grounded in its doctrines, confirmed in its faith, and attached to its discipline, as to be able, with Christian meekness and holy boldness, to give a reason of the hope that is in them, and to resist those who would seduce them from their attachment and allegiance to the Church of their country.
JOHN xvi. 28.
I came forth from the Father, and am come into
the world : again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
KNOW few portions of Holy Writ more touching, than those contained between the thirteenth and seventeenth chapters of St. John's Gospel, inclusive. The greater part of what is recorded in the thirteenth chapter, which commences with Jesus' washing the feet of his.disciples, occurs in none other of the Gospels; and as to the four following chapters, not a syllable of their subject matter is found in the writings of
any other of the Evangelists. This, in
deed, is no more than we might expect. St. John composed his Gospel at a later period than St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke ;—and therefore we may naturally expect to find a great deal of supplementary information in what he wrote. Of this kind is the whole that is read in these five chapters, (excepting a small part of the thirteenth); and very highly does it exalt the character of our Saviour. It represents him full of humility towards man, and full of piety towards his heavenly Father. It shews him washing his disciples' feet, and exhorting them to lowliness of mind and mutual charity. It exhibits him comforting their dejected hearts; professing himself “ the Way, the Truth, and the Life;" and depicting the mutual love and intimate connexion which ought to subsist between him and the Church, under the parable of the Vine and its Branches. It shews him
fortifying his chosen friends against tribulation, by the cheering promise of the Holy Ghost, emphatically called “ the Comforter;" and, finally, praying unto God to “ glorify him with the glory which he had with him before the world was ;” to preserve his Apostles in unity, and to " sanctify them through the truth.”
If I might recommend to your attention in your own houses, surrounded with your own families, this evening, a portion of Scripture most appropriate for the season; -in the interval, that is say, between the commemoration of Christ's ascension, and the descent of the Holy Ghost,-it should be those very chapters I have specified, beginning with the thirteenth, and ending with the seventeenth of St. John's Gospel. No man, whose heart is open to impressions of grace, can read them without edification; without loving his Saviour more dearly,