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an unquestionable fact, that they were utterly unacquainted with it.
The learned Bishop Bull's sentiments on this point will have weight with those who know that his prejudices leaned another way. And he confesses,
* In the first and best äões, the churches of Christ directed all their präyers, according to the Scripture, to God only, through the alone mediation of Jesus Christ." ----Bishop Bull's Answer to the Bishop of Meaux.
And, in another place; “ It is to be observed that in the Clementine Liturgy, (so called,) which is, by the learned on all hands, confessed to be very ancient, and to contain the order of worship observed in the churches before the times of Constantine; all the prayers are directed to God, in the name of his Son Jesus Christ.”— Bishop Bull's Discourse concerning the Existence and Naure of Angels."
It was a great unhappiness and oversight that when our forefathers shook off the yoke of the Bishop of Rome, they retained so much of the Roman Ritual, its Creeds and Forms of Worship; and that, as the compilers of the Liturgy, in the office for ordaining priests, exhort continually to pray to God the Father by the mediation of our only Saviour Jesus Christ, for the heavenly assist
* Dr. Clarke's Script. Doct. p. 435.
ance of the Holy Ghost , that this direction of worship to its proper object was not universally adhered to by themselves, as it ought to have been.
The Litany, more than any other of the offices of devotion in our church, seems to deviate most widely from this rule of Christian worship, and to require a total reformation. For in this,
1. God the Father of heaven, is invoked.
2. Then follow three several invocations of God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Trinity. All three, directly contrary to what Bishop Bull above declares to have been the practice of the church in the first and best ages, and the rule of the Holy Scriptures.
3. Next follow several addresses to Christ by himself. And after that,
4. We sinners do beseech thee to hear us, O Lord God," would seem to be directed to God the Father.
5. Then after a certain space, follow many invocations of the Son, as Lamb of God, Christ, Lord, &c.
6. Then we turn off all at once, and address ourselves to the Father.
7. Then we return again to the Son, and our address to him in several invocations.
8. Presently after we go back, and say, We beseech thee, O Father. And,
9. In the very next address, as placed in this
office, we resume our devotions once more to Christ, in the prayer of St. Chrysostom.*
Is there any thing in holy scripture to countenance this variety of address, and shifting and changing from one object of worship to another? Can this in any shape be construed into a right worship of the One infinite eternal Mind, the wise and good Parent of the universe?
* See Candid Disquisitions, pp. 324, 325.
THE CAUSES OF THE UNHAPPY DEFECTION
AMONG CHRISTIANS, FROM THE SIMPLICITY OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP PRESCRIBED IN THE SCRIPTURES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.
RAPID and astonishing was the progress and success of the gospel of Jesus, at its first preaching, in converting multitudes in all countries of the known world, from idolatry and vicious, impure practices, to the acknowledgment of the One true God, and a holy life and conversation. But the cause was arlequate to the effect. The presence of a divine power, manifested by frequent miracles, which accompanied the humble and self-denying preachers of a religion so pure and rational; the full assurance of pardon to guilty mortals, of being received into the especial favour and protection of God, in passing through this scene of trial and suffering, and the animating prospect of life and immortality at the close of it; these were motives, which indeed have now too much lost their power, by being familiar to us, and therefore less regarded, but which could not be resisted at first where men would pay any attention, and had not lost all sobriety of mind, and love of truth and virtue. The
common people, and the unlearned, who had no speculative prejudices to interfere, would readily and naturally fall in with, and embrace the belief and doctrine of the one living and merciful God, the common Creator and Preserver, and of Jesus, a divine messenger, prophet and saviour sent by him to men, in all that purity and simplicity with which the apostles delivered it.
But the philosophic minds of others who were brought to believe in Christ, in an age so curious and inquisitive as that was, would not so soon shake off the learned notions they prized so highly, and had acquired with so much ingenious labour, but would be induced in some sort to fashion their new religion by them. And this actually came to pass. Science, falsely so called, as the apostle speaks, 1 Tim. vi. 20, first corrupted Christianity, and led men into errors concerning the person and true character of our Saviour Christ; and the learned converts from Heathenism were they that laid the foundation of the Nicene, Constantinopolitan and scholastic Trinity, as of many other unscriptural doctrines. So that to know and to worship God aright, we have only to abandon the language and ideas of a false philosophy, and revert to the pure
and simple teaching and directory of the word of God.
St. Paul saw these fatal errors in the bud, and endeavoured to warn men of them, and prevent