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the Roman service on St. Michael's day, in which I could not join, and the adoption of which I deeply lament. The first is appointed to be said at the part of the Mass called “ The Secret :” “ We offer to Thee, O Lord, the sacrifice of praise, humbly beseeching thee, That by the intervention of the prayers of the angels for us, Thou, being appeased, mayest both accept the same, and make them profitable for our salvation. Through...” The second is offered at the Post Communion : “ Supported (propped up, suffulti] by the intercession of Thy blessed archangel Michael, we humbly beseech Thee, O Lord, that what with honour we follow', we may obtain also in mind. Through..."
Still, though here the Christian seems to be taught to rest on a broken reed, to support and prop himself up by a staff which must bend and break; yet I acknowledge that so much violence is not done to my Christian principles, nor do my feelings, as a believer in God and his ever-blessed Son, meet with so severe a shock by either of these prayers, as by the invocation addressed to the archangel himself in the “Gradual” on that same day :
“O holy Michael, O archangel, defend us in battle, that we perish not in the dreadful judgment.” · Christians of the Church of Rome! for one moment meditate, I beseech you, on this prayer. It is not addressed to God; in it there is no mention made of
"I do not understand the exact meaning of these words, which however contain none of that sentiment, the presence of which in this prayer I deplore. The original is this : “ Beati archangeli tui Michaelis intercessione suffulti, supplices te Domine deprecamur, ut quod honore prosequimur, contingamus et in mente. Per..." Probably the general sense is, that what we reverently seek we may actually realise.
Christ : having called upon the angels, and on your own soul in the words of the psalmist, to praise the Lord, you address your supplication to Michael himself; not even invoking him for his intercession, but imploring of him his protection. If it be said, that his intercession is all that is meant, I request you with most unfeigned sincerity to judge for yourselves, whether any prayer from poor sinful man, putting his whole trust in the Lord and imploring his help, could be addressed to our God and Saviour more immediate and direct than this? In the place of the name of his servant Michael, substitute the highest and the holiest name ever uttered in heaven or on earth, and can words form a prayer more direct to God? “O Lord God Almighty, O Lord Jesus our only Saviour, defend us in battle, that we perish not in the dreadful judgment. Hallelujah !”— Can this be right ? Were the archangel allowed now, by his Lord and ours, to make his voice heard upon earth by Christians offering to him this prayer, would he utter any other words, than the angel, his fellowservant and ours, once addressed to Saint John, when he fell down to worship before him, “See thou do it not; for I am thy fellow-servant: worship God.”
Such then is the evidence borne by the writers of the Old Testament. No prayer to angel or beatified spirit occurs from its first to its last page. The theory which would have us account for the absence of all prayer to the saints before the advent of Messiah, by reason of their not having been then admitted into their everlasting habitations, and the immediate presence of God, proves to be utterly groundless. The holy angels were confessedly in heaven', beholding the face of
Matt. xviii. 10.
God; but no invocation was ever addressed to them, by patriarch, or prophet, or people, as mediators or intercessors. God, and God alone, the one eternal Jehovah, is proclaimed by Himself throughout, and is acknowledged throughout to be the only object of any kind of spiritual worship; the only Being who heareth prayer, to whom alone therefore all mankind should approach with the words and with the spirit of invocation.
It has been argued by some writers, that in the times of the Old Testament, prayer was not offered to God through a mediator at all, and that as the one Mediator was not then revealed in his person and his offices, the subsidiary intercessors could not of course act; and therefore could not be invoked by man. The answer to this remark is conclusive. That Mediator has been revealed in his person and his offices; and has been expressly declared to be the one Mediator between God and man: we therefore seek God's covenanted mercies through Him. Those subsidiary intercessors have never been revealed; and therefore we do not seek their aid. To assure us that it was the mind and will of our Heavenly Father that we should approach him by other secondary and subsidiary mediators and intercessors, as clear and unquestionable a revelation of their persons and their offices as mediators would have been required, as he has vouchsafed of the mediation of his Son. Had God willed that the faithful should approach him by the intercessions of the saints and martyrs, is it conceivable that he would not have given some intimation of his will in this respect? If believers in the Gospel were to have unnumbered mediators of intercession in heaven, as well as the one Mediator of redemption, would not the Gospel itself have announced it? Could such declarations as these have remained on record without any qualifying or limiting expression, “ He is able also to save to the uttermost them who come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” “There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” But this involves the question to which the next section must be devoted. All I would anticipate here is, that if the irresistible argument from the Old Testament is sought to be evaded on the ground that no mediator at all was then revealed, we must require a distinct revelation of the existence and offices of other mediators and intercessors, before we can be justified in applying to them for their intervention in our behalf. And the question now is, are they so revealed ?
EVIDENCE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.
Though such is the evidence borne against the invocation of saints and angels by the Old Testament, yet it has been said that we are living neither under the patriarchal, nor the Mosaic dispensation, but under the Gospel, to whom therefore as Christians neither the precepts nor the examples of those ancient times are appli
? Heb. vii. 25. 1 Tim. ii. 5.—Unde et salvare in perpetuum potest accedentes per semetipsum ad Deum, semper vivens ad interpellanduin pro nobis.-Vulg.
cable : the injunctions consequently given of old to preserve the chosen people from idolatry and paganism cannot be held to prohibit Christians from seeking the aid of those departed saints who are now reigning with Christ. But, surely, those precepts, and denunciations, and commands, are most strictly applicable, as conveying to us a knowledge of the will of our Heavenly Father, that his sons and daughters on earth should associate no name, however exalted among the principalities and powers in heavenly places, with his own holy name in prayer, and spiritual invocation. I am throughout this address supposing myself to be speaking to those whose heart's desire is to fulfil the will of God in all things; not those who are contented to depart from the spirit of that will, whenever they can devise plausible arguments to countenance such departure.
The cases both of precept and example through the Old Testament affording so stringent and so universal a rule against the association of any name with the name of the Almighty in our prayers ; before we can conclude that Christians have a liberty denied to believers under the former dispensations, we must surely produce a declaration to that effect, clear, unequivocal, and precisely in point. Nothing short of an enactment, rescinding in terms the former prohibitory law, and positively sanctioning supplications and prayers to saints and angels, seems capable of satisfying any Christian bent on discovering the will of God, and resolved to worship him agreeably to the spirit of that will as it has been revealed. But let us read the New Testament from its first to its very last word, and we shall find, that the doctrines, the precepts, and the examples, the pervading reigning spirit of the entire