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To recur once more to H. M.'s communication; he does not seem to be aware of the ground on which the words "and oblations," in the Communion Service, are omitted by many ministers. The sentences read at the offertory are sufficient to shew, that the money collected before the sacrament was originally intended in part for the use of the clergy. It was therefore first of fered to God upon the altar, and then became the property of the church, as well for the support of its ministers as for the relief of the poor and this proceeding was analogous to that followed in the Jewish sacrifices; many parts of which, except in the case of burntofferings, were laid on the altar, and, after being heaved, or waved, before the Lord, became the property of the priests. But, as the ministers of the Church of England have long refrained from availing themselves of these offerings, there seems to be a propriety in their omission both of the word oblations, and of those sentences in the offertory which refer to it. Indeed, I believe that these sentences are now generally disused by the clergy.

Of the omission therefore of the word oblation, though sanctioned by no rubric, I approve: for I have no idea of making any rule so absolute as not to be modified by circumstances, or to yield to a manifest change in the occasion for using it. But departing from a rule without necessity or reasonable cause, is very different from a deviation founded on the same principle which occasioned the rule. I much wish, for the advantage of the church, that, except in such particulars, its service could be exactly conformed to its regulations and canons. We should then have the Communion Service detached from the Morning Prayer; and perhaps, among other restorations, the prayer preceding the sermon, instead of being either an extemporary effusion, or a collect designed

for other occasions, would again become a 66 bidding" or hortatory prayer, instructing the people in many important particulars, for which they ought to pray, according to the pattern provided in the fifty-fifth canon. C. C.

** Some months before C. C.'s communication, we had received another paper in reply to H. M., in which the writer contends that the words "and oblations" may properly be retained; because, upon the authority of Wheatley and Bishop Patrick, the word oblations in this place does not mean the offerings anciently made for the use of the clergy, but "the elements of bread and wine, which the priest is to offer solemnly to God, as an acknowledgment of his sovereignty over his creatures, and that from henceforth they might become properly and peculiarly his: for, in all the Jewish sacrifices of which the people were partakers, the viands or materials of the feast were first made God's by a solemn oblation, and then afterwards eaten by the communicants, not as man's, but as God's provision, who, by thus entertaining them at his own table, declared himself reconciled and again in covenant with them." (See Wheatley on the passage.) Our correspondent, however, adds, that he thinks the point doubtful; but that, whether Wheatley's exposition be just or not," there is no impropriety in retaining the expression, since our alms to the poor, when consecrated by faith and prayer, become a truly evangelical oblation, and are mercifully accepted by our heavenly Father, in virtue of the one great satisfaction and sacrifice offered upon Calvary: Forasmuch as ye did it to the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me.'"-Our correspondent further remarks, that though the clergy no longer receive any part of the sacrament alms themselves, the gratuity usually given to the parish clerk is strictly an "oblation"

bestowed upon him in virtue of his office as a sort of sub-minister of the church; and he adds, that so certainly is that the fact, that he almost thinks a parish clerk might maintain an action at law against a clergyman or churchwarden, in support of his claim to such a portion of the offerings at the sacrament as he could prove had from time immemorial been appendant to his office. We leave our readers to decide between the statements of our correspondents.

EDITOR.

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THE prophet Jeremiah, in the present chapter, as well as in several others which go before and follow, was foretelling the grievous calamities which should befal the Jews on account of their sins. He describes, in the most affecting language, their rebellion against God; their obstinacy when threatened with punishment; their impenitence, their idolatry, their ingratitude, their pride, their covetousness, their falsehood, their perjury, their cruelty, their gross immorality of life, their hypocrisy in religion, and their settled contempt of God's word and commandment. Having thus shewn them their offences, he affectionately urges them to amend their ways, and to turn to God. But, instead of receiving his message with humility; instead of abasing themselves before their justly offended Creator, and imploring forgiveness; they answered the Prophet, with pride and selfsecurity," The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these;" as if they thought their outward privileges, and the long continued favour of Jehovah towards their nation, were quite sufficient to fal

sify all the predictions of the inspired Prophet. God had indeed been pleased to honour them with signal privileges: they were favoured with many disclosures of his will; they were governed by his laws, and were under his immediate superintendence, and his temple and worship were established among them: but instead of considering the end of these benefits, too many of them only took advantage of them to build themselves up in a false confidence, seeming to think, that with such tokens of God's favour, no calamity would be suffered to befal them, however great their provocations. But the prophet Jeremiah endeavoured to bring them to a better mind, and to sweep away their refuges of lies, by shewing them the utter fallacy of their hopes." Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. But trust not in lying words saying, The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these....Behold ye trust in lying words that cannot profit."

The text will lead us, first, to consider the extreme folly of trusting to any religious privileges, while our hearts remain unrenewed and our lives unholy; and, secondly, to shew that this folly is too common in every age and country, and that we ourselves perhaps are guilty of it.

First, We are to shew the extreme folly of trusting to any religious privileges, while our hearts remain unrenewed and our lives unholy.-On what ground can we rely on the continuance of God's favour under such circumstances? Should we, because a friend had conferred many benefits upon us, and forgiven us many offences, be justified in supposing that there would be no limit to his endurance, or that his past favours bound him to continue his countenance to us, however perverse or ungrateful our

conduct in return? Yet the Jews -and their case is not singularseemed to claim a special right to the continued favour of God, in virtue of their religious privileges; not considering that those privileges were a free gift; that they might at any time be withdrawn, without a shadow of injustice; and that while they lasted they were intended to operate, not as inducements to presumption, but as motives to love and thankfulness and obedience. They had in themselves no spiritual efficacy; and it was both irrational and unseriptural to suppose that they could shield the disobedient from the punishment due to their transgressions. Neither the character of God, nor his promises, held out any ground of hope on which to build such a conclusion. It would not have been consistent with his holiness, or wisdom, or justice, that the sinner should escape under the plea of any national or personal privileges, however great. And his promises, both temporal and spiritual, were all made in accordance with the same principle." If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments and do them...then I will walk among you, and I will be your God;...but if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments,...I will set my face against you." The whole tenour of God's providential dispensations is likewise to the same effect. And accordingly the Jews, great as were their national mercies, found on numerous occasions that they were not exempt from the just displeasure of their Divine Governor. At an early period of their history, when sustained by miracles in the wilderness, and under his immediate guidance and protection, they were visited with severe calamities for their murmurings, backslidings, aud idolatry. Again, ages after, when settled in the promised land, it is said, "The hand of the Lord was against them for evil," on account of their transgressions. On

another memorable occasion, being overpowered by the Philistines, they sent for the ark of the covenant into the camp, in hopes, by means of that visible emblem of the Divine Presence, to gain the victory over their enemies: but they had broken God's commandments, and he suffered them to be a second time defeated, and the ark in which they trusted to be taken by the conquering army. A similar lesson is to be learned throughout the whole of their history: they were frequently given over to the pestilence, or to famine, or to the sword, and were carried captive into the land of their enemies, to punish them for their na-. tional sins. Yet, with all these proofs of God's righteous judgments, their constant cry was, "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord:" they caught hold, as it were, of the horns of the altar with unhallowed hands; and, notwithstanding the threatenings of the Almighty, were ever prone to trust in those external privileges by which they were distinguished above other nations, but which, when abused, only added to the aggravation of their offences.' At the very time when they were committing the grievous enormities of which the Prophet Jeremiah convicts them, they were zealous for the outward worship of God, and boasted highly of their religious profession. But could any folly be greater than that of supposing that this insincere worship could satisfy Him who searcheth the heart, and trieth the reins? Could any infatuation be more dangerous than that of stifling the remonstrances of conscience, and drowning the voice of the warning Prophet, with a vain boast of their outward privileges; their form of godliness, without the power What though they were born of the seed of Abraham, and were initiated into the external observances of their church from their infancy, and were scrupulous in

all the ceremonials of Divine wor-
ship, and bad the lively oracles of
salvation in their hands, and, as
the prophet Zephaniah expresses it,
"were haughty because of God's
holy mountain!" Would these
things profit them in that day
when the secrets of all hearts
shall be revealed, and each indi-
vidual of mankind shall be judged
according to the deeds done in
the body; and when, moreover,
he who knew his Lord's will and
did it not, shall be beaten with
many more stripes than his less
privileged neighbour? The Pro
phet forcibly points out the extreme
folly and delusiveness of such ex-
pectations: "Go," he says, "unto
my place which was in Shiloh,
where I set my name at the first;
and see what I did to it for the
wickedness of my people Israel.
And now, because ye have done
all these works, saith the Lord,
and I spake unto you, rising up
early and speaking, but ye
heard not; and I called unto
you, but ye answered not; there
fore will I do unto this house
which is called by my name,
wherein ye trust, and unto the
place which I gave to you and to
your fathers, as I have done to
Shiloh." The temple of Jerusalem,
however glorious its appearance,
however dear, if we may so speak,
to Jehovah, if wickedness were
found in it, should soon be made
like that tabernaele of which it is re-
corded, that" God forsook it ;" and
which probably remained in ruins
to future ages, a monument of the
Divine displeasure against sin, even
in the very seat of professed sanc-
tity, and the place which he had
selected for the visible emblems of
his presence. Truly, to use the
words of St. Paul (Gal. vi.15), " with
God neither circumcision avail-
eth any thing, nor uncircumcision;"
that is, no outward form, or pro-
fession, or privilege; but "a new,
creature," or, as the Apostle ex-
presses it in the fifth chapter,
"faith which worketh by love."

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Having thus considered the extreme folly of trusting to external privileges, while the heart is unrenewed and the life unholy, we are, Secondly, to shew, that this folly is too common in all ages; and that we ourselves, perhaps, are guilty of it.-We have already seen how prone the Jews were, at every period of their history, to take refuge from the denunciations of their Prophets in the excellence of their public worship, and the presumed favour of God towards them; and this, notwithstanding that his promises were inseparably joined with an exhortation and command to walk in his laws, without which they were to expect no protection at his hands. And thus it is to the present hour. How many pride themselves in being zealous Protestants, or strict members of the Established Church, or regular attendants on public worship, while they live in the spirit of the world, and without any scriptural evidence of being in a state of favour with God! How many trust to the supposed orthodoxy of their faith; or to their zeal against infidelity, enthusiasm, or superstition; while they are ignorant of the scriptural way of salvation, and indifferent to the great concern of making their calling and election sure! How many cherish a secret hope from the prayers of religious parents, the zeal and piety of their ministers, the remaining good effects of a Christian education, or the signal mercies of Divine Providence in their behalf; while they are destitute of any principle of love to God, and have no desire to live to his glory! How many boast of the extensive circulation of the Scriptures; of the many symptoms of a revival of religion in the land; of the efforts, in particular, of their own sect or party to extend the knowledge of Christianity throughout the world; or of the invaluable religious privileges of our highly favoured country; and yet, like the self-deceivers in the text, are wholly unconcerned

themselves to lead a life consistent with their professed hopes and privileges! How many, again, contend earnestly for the purity of Christian doctrine; or trust to some change of sect or sentiment, or to some impression on their imagination, which they mistake for true conversion of heart, without being at all nearer the kingdom of God than the Jews, with their boasted zeal for the temple and the ritual of Divine worship! In short, innumerable are the ways in which persons deceive themselves on these subjects; fancying that the temple of the Lord is among them; and on this vain surmise remaining content and careless in their sins, and ignorant of all true religion.

Now let us ask ourselves, in conclusion, whether such is our own case. On what are we placing our hopes for eternity? Are we resting upon any thing superficial or external; upon any thing short of genuine conversion of heart to God, a simple reliance upon the merits and grace of our Saviour, accompanied by a life of holy obedience to his commands? It is nothing that we were born in a Christian country; that we received a pious education; were taught the Scriptures from our infancy; were accustomed to attend public worship and family prayer; were trained to take an interest in the benevolent labours of religious and charitable institutions; were instructed accurately to detect and warmly to exclaim against false doctrine, and to comply with every usage and ceremony of the church; if to this fair outward form be not added the life and spirit of religion in the soul. True piety is not any thing that can be done for us; it must be engrafted in us; it must dwell in our hearts, and shew its blessed effects in our conduct. We must devoutly love and reverence our Creator; we must come as helpless sinners to the cross of our Saviour; we must trust alone in his all-sufficient sacrifice for salvation; we

must give up ourselves body and: soul to his service; we must make it our chief object to know and to perform his will; we must renounce every known sin for his sake; we must endeavour to love and serve our fellow-creatures, even as He also loved us. Every thing short of this true devotion of heart and life to God, is but the shadow of Christianity: it is but crying, "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we :" whereas the only earthly temple in which God dwells by his spiritual presence is, that of a new and contrite heart. "The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God? And ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."

To the Editor of the Christian Observer. THERE is no topic which has been more frequently and ably discussed in the pages of the Christian Observer, than the duty of renouncing the world; and I feel greatly indebted to many of your correspondents for their valuable remarks on this subject, scattered up and down your twenty volumes. In practice, however, there is frequently found great difficulty in accommodating general rules to the daily occurrences of life, and on no point more so than that of worldly conformity. I will take the liberty, therefore, of requesting from some of your contributors, a well-weighed answer to the following query; a query which relates to a subject of great interest to no small number of persons at the present period, and on which the opinions of many excellent practical casuists are greatly divided. The query is as follows:-:

What is the proper line of conduct to be pursued by pious and conscientious parents providentially

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