« AnteriorContinuar »
Christian profession has remained, have been richly favoured with and that in gross ignorance and Gospel privileges and the means superstition : so true is God to his of grace. Christ knew and approvword, and so needful it is for used the works of the Ephesian church; to beware. · A candlestick is re- but what are the works which he moved in a great measure when beholds among us ?-Contempt of the public faithful dispensation of his word, his house, and his sabthe word of God is taken away, baths; selfishness and love of the and the whole counsel of God is world ; murmuring and rebellion no longer declared ; but such pas- under his judgments; profaneness, tors come in who regard neither lasciviousness, intemperance, and their own souls nor the people's; the vilest abuse of his benefits. and those are most pleasing to For these abominations he sends many persons who will let them war, heavy burdens, 'dearth and alone, and leave them undisturbed scarcity, &c.; and yet there is no in the broad way to perdition. humiliation. He is able to inflict When there is no more any public the greatest of all curses, and it is Christian worship, and the Bible of his astonishing mercy and for, also is gone, the candlestick is en bearance that it is not already tirely removed. This is the case done, viz. the removal of our can. in some parts of the world where dlestick. How happy would it be Christianity once flourished. Such if this nation would remember, punishment is inflicted for the sins and if the people of some favoured. of professing Christians, when places would remember, from they are ungodly in life, fall into whence they are fallen. Many heresies, are wantonly inclined to are fallen from some external redivisions, or neglect and make gard to God and religion into gross light of the Gospel, and oppose wickedness, open irreligion, and and scorn the faithful ambassadors worse than heathenism ; and the of Christ. Though such punish- religion of some consists chiefly in ment would be made small account party zeal and making divisions, of by most, it is a far greater cala. while Christian and moral duties mity and curse than dearth and and family religion are neglected ; scarcity of bread, which produces and many are fallen from religious so much murmuring and discon- profession, or become lukewarm, tent, but no turning to God: Amos, instead of pressing into the king. viii. 11: A famine in the land, not dom of God, and taking it by holy a famine of bread and thirst for violence. Can we suppose that water, but of hearing the word of any thing except repentance will the Lord. When the candlestick prevent our candlestick from being is removed, and the Gospel gone, removed? And can it be thought. there are no means of instruction, strange that lesser judgments are and of the soul's salvation, but inflicted ? It greatly concerns all, men are synk in ignorance and unconverted sinners to reflect on wickedness: where no vision is, the the misery of their condition: re.) people perish.
...pent they must, and with much This call ought to be attended bitterness, at the cross of Christ, to by us, as far more suitable and and turn effectually to God, or, needful than for Ephesus, and we iniquity will be their ruin : Excepts. ought to stand in fear and awe of ye repent, ye must perish. The the threatening, Remember from Lord is true to his word, and there whence thou hast fallen, and repent. is no escaping, and no time is to If Ephesus had fallen, Britain is be lost; the Judge standeth before fallen much more, and some parti- the door. Fallen professors are to çular places more especially, which remember from whence they are
fallen, and repent without delay: of preventing me from falling. But their latter state is worse than the this prayer I had for some time first; thongh not yet desperate, it neglected to offer up, and, indeed, soon will be so, unless they repent had entirely forgot. But the Lord and do the first works. Those who had not forgot it, as will be seen still walk with God, yet have left by the sequel. About forty years their first love, must also remem- ago, when a subaltern in the Roy ber from whence they are fallen, al Marine corps, I was ordered, and repent. They will depart with two other officers, to embark, further, unless their backslidings one of us 'in' each of the three are healed. It is an awful thing guard-ships then stationed in the to decline at all, instead of grow: Medway: two of them lay close ing in grace, daily ripening for to the dock-yard, affording at all heaven, and giving diligenee to the times easy access to the shore; full assurance of hope unto the end. but the other, the Resolution, of July 15, 1814.
seventy-four, was moored half-way down the river, towards Sheerness:
from whence, in winter and bad Anecdote.
weather, it was tedious and trou
blesome to land, and sometimes PRAYER REJECTED MOST co
impracticable. For this obvious PLETELY ANSWERED.
reason it was natural for each of MR. EDITOR, ..
us to wish for one of the ChathathTrue Christian experience is a ships, and strong interest was acparadox to the carnal mind, and cordingly made by us with the the Scripture abounds in apparent commanding officer for this purcontradictions, which the soul en- pose; but he, finding he must nelightened by divine grace can alone cessarily disoblige one of the three, clearly comprehend. “ When I am very properly ordered us to attend weak,” says Paul, “ then' am I the parade next morning and draw strong; though poor, yet possess- lots for our ships. This of course ing all things," &c. Among a drove me to my strong hold; and number of these enigmatical truths, if ever I prayed with fervency in I have frequently observed the fol- my life, it was now. I pleaded lowing: “When sincere and fer- hard with the Searcher of Hearts vent prayer has been evidently re- that he knew my chief motive for jected, then has it been most com- desiring one of the Chatham ships pletely answered.” . ' was, that I might constantly attend
Should you deem an explanation the means of grace and the ordiof this paradox worthy of a place nances of his house ; resting con, in the Christian Guardian, I will fident, that, if I really was a child endeavoar to give it to your read- of God, he would grant my reers by relating an anecdote in quest, since the lot thus cast into my own history, previously re- the lap was wholly at his disposal. questing to mention, that when The important morning came, and the Lord was pleased to give me I drew the dreaded ship down the clear views of divine truth, I fre- river. Had I drawn my deathquently prayed, that whenever he warrant, I hardly think it would called me to embark in a' man of have affected me more. My praywar (that dreadful abode for à er was now evidently rejected; and Christian, which I had long inha- the enemy of souls, taking advanbited), I might even there find tage of the agitated state of my some serious person to converse depraved heart, easily made me with, who by good advice, and a draw the conclusion, that either I pious example, might be the means was no Christian, or else that God paid no attention to those who pre- be associated with such a pious tended to be such. In this gloomy man. As two needles touched desponding state, like a criminal with the loadstone, though they going to execution, I embarked fall among chaff, will soon come the same forenoon, in His Majes- together, so this Methodist lieutety's ship Resolution, lying in a nant and I speedily came into condreary part of the Medway, about tact : after exchanging a few questwo or three miles from Sheerness. tions, we went down to his cabin I had just time to be introduced to in the gun-room; had an hour's the officers in the ward-room, when comfortable conversation, and condinner came in. The third lieute- cluded with prayer, though, only nant happening to be caterer that four hours before, we had never week, of course stood up at the seen one another's faces. This head of the table, and asked a singular circumstance could not blessing with so much seriousness fail to bring to my recollection tha as quite astonished me ; for, being prayer I had so culpably forgoty well acquainted with the custom now completely granted; and I in the ward-room of a king's ship, began to be reconciled to the ship I had never heard any thing of the Providence had assigned me; but kind só solemnly done there be that God who aixeunds in goodfore ; and determined in myself to ness and delighteth in mercy, mark every word that proceeded never confers his favours by halves. from that gentleman's lips, in the A few days had hardly elapsed, hope of hearing something that when an order came from the Admight determine his character: miralty, to send the Resolution up however, nothing decisive occur- to Chatham, and one of the ships red during dinner ; but no sooner there to come down and take her was the wine upon table, than he place. This was such welcome was' personally attacked by se news to all on board, that, lest the veral of his messmates on his reli- order should be countermanded, gious sentiments, and soon disco- we obeyed it the same day; for vered that he bore the genuine the wind and tide favouring, we marks of a true Christian, by his weighed, and came to an anchor judicious reproofs, and the very off the dockyard before two able manner in which he confuted o'clock. Thus my prayer, at first all their infidel arguments. They, evidently rejected, was now most wishing, I suppose; to know what completely answered; but it was spirit I was of, frequently appealed in the Lord's way; håd mine been to me for the truth of what they attended to, and I had drawn the Advanced; but, having always de- ship that afterwards went down cided against them, I was imper- the river, I should have been truly ceptibly drawn into the vortex of miserable : so true it is, we know warm disputation on the side of not what to pray for as we ought. the caterer. When the allowance
I am, dear Sir, of wine was drank (for it was a
. Yours sincerely, sober, well-regulated mess), the
· ANDREW BURN purser rose, and broke up the company, exclaiming, with an Gillingham, near Chatham, . oath, “ Our new messmate is as 8th Aug. 18146 great a Methodist as Tomlinson *." I smiled, well pleased to would bave been high among the admirals,
had he not disobliged the Admiralty by pub'* Lieutenant Tomlinson was a pious, lishing a plan to man the navy without sensible, and well-infornied man, well pressing, which that Board would not counknown in the then Christian world. He tenance.-I enjoyed his friendship many was long a commander in the nary, and years. CHRIST. GUARD. VOL, VI.
PART I. CHAP. II.
A COMPANION TO THE COMMON time rehearsing subjects of admoPRAYER BOOK.
nition and warning of apprehended
danger ;, at another time confessON THE MORNING AND EVENING ,ing to one another their mutual PRAYER.
sorrows and complaints, and tell.
ing what God has done for their SECT. II.
souls. ! [Continued from Page 276.]
For this sort of singing the book AFTER the Lord's Prayer, which of Psalms, which forms part of the we considered in our last section, sacred Scriptures, was evidently that part of our service commences intended ; and these, there is no which consists in the recitation of doubt, were the psalms, and hymns, psalms and hymns, during which and sacred songs, to which the two intervals are allowed for the Apostle immediately refers; and reading of the word of God. This, although we would by no means it will appear, on comparison, exclude proper hymns of human forms a very considerable portion composition from the worship of of both services; and from this, God, yet we cannot be surprised no doubt, it was, 'that they an- that the book of Psalms, recited ciently obtained the appellation of and sung as above described, should matins and evening song.
in all ages of the church have been • One express direction of Scrip- a favourite part of public worship. ture, respecting the worship of Indeed, one might almost venture Christians, and the improvement to conclude, that the very worship of their social intercourse, is, that of heaven itself is conducted in they should engage in the delight. the same style: for when Isaiah beful practice of psalmody. Thus held the seraphim attendant upon St. Paul writes to the Ephesians: the Almighty, in the vision which Speaking to yourselves in psalms, he saw in the temple, he thus deand hymns, and sacred songs, sing- scribes their devotions which he ing and making melody in your witnessed : “ And one cried unto heart unto the Lord. He gives the another and said, Holy, holy, holy Bame directions to the Colossians : is the Lord of Hosts, &c. &c. Admonishing one another in psalms, This practice of alternate singand hymns, and spiritual songs ; ing appears soon to have become singing with grace in your hearts general in the Gentile churches, unto the Lord. The expressions when once their worship could be used in these directions--speaking publicly celebrated. Antiquity deto yourselves admonishing one ano- rived this practice from the church ther, convey indeed a somewhat of Antioch; and, according to the different sense from that of simply belief of some, from the custom of · uniting together to sing the praises that church when Ignatius presided of God: they describe clearly the there ; than which, a more direct sacred dialogue, the Amæbæick, course for an apostolical tradition or responsive song; that in which to have flowed can hardly be conthe worshippers, divided into dif- ceived; for Ignatius had been the ferent bands, besides the united disciple of the Apostle John himpraises which they offer up to God, self. Pliny, also, in his celebrated are wont to address each other, al. letter to the Emperor Trajan, ternately contending, as it were, seems very clearly to describe this who can best describe his mercies, style of psalmody as forming part or record the wonders he hath of the worship of the Christians of wrought ; thus striving to excite Pontus and Bithynia. He says : in each other's breasts the senti- “ They were accustomed to meet vents of joy and gratitude: at one together on a stated day before it
was light, and to sing (or recite) semblance of the responsive song; among them by turns (or alter- but it must be confessed to be, at nately) a hymn to Christ as to a best, 'but a very defective compliGod :" Carmenque Christo quasi ance with the apostolical injuncDeo dicere secum invicem. This tion *. was as early as the year 106, at. This incongruity in the con. the very time, in fact, when Igna- ducting of divine service calls tius sat at Antioch. And how aloud for alteration ; for, besides very prominent a feature singing the impropriety of reading, after was in the devotions of the Chris- inviting one another to sing, as we tians in these first ages, the follow. do, in the introductory psalm, “ O ing story, from Porphyry, as re, come let us sing unto the Lord,” I corded by Milner, in his Church would further insist, that, however History, is a striking evidence: excellent be the collection of me* A person asked Apollo how to trical hymns and psalms provided make his wife relinquish Christian- for the intervals between the serity. It is easier, perhaps,' replied vices, the prosaic translation of the the oracle, to write on water, or Psalms and Scripture hyınns conto fly in the air, than to reclaim her. Leave her to her folly; to * What, inileed, would be thought in hymn in a faint mournful voice the places of public amusement, of a practice
of reading their songs and choruses, indead God, who publicly suffered
stead of singing them with their approdeath from judges of singular wis- priate music?--(For the children of this dom.'” In a subsequent age we world may be referred to as an example in find the celebrated Augustin re things which pertain to their generation.) marking, of the time when his --Yet this is, in plain fact, the custom
that is grown up in the Church of England, heart first became impressed with
in the per ormance of diçine worship; or the concerns of religion: “O, how in the churches where the organ plays a I wept in the hymns and holy can- voluntary, it is open to the remark, that ticles, being enforced thereto by they read the words of the song first, and the sweet voices of thy melodious play the music afterwards by itself. It is
true, there are singing psalms as well as church !”
reading psalms in our service, as now perIt must, however, be acknow- formed. "But these singing psalms constiledged, that no part of our vene tute no part of the prescribed form of pub-' rable Liturgy suffers so much in lic worship as by law established ; permismodern practice as this which is
sion was given to the Minister hy Queen now before us. Instead of hear
Elizabeth's Injunctions to the Clergy, 1559,
“ That in the beginning and in the end of ing a Christian assembly in psalms,
common prayer, cither at morning or evenand hymns, and spiritual songs, ing, there may be sung a hymn or suchsinging and making inelody in their like song, to the praise of Almighty God." hearts unto the Lord. we are ac. --Sparrou, Collect. Art. Can. 410. 1684. customed to hear them merely
In virtue of this permission, psalms in
metre were provided hy private bands for read over, in alternate verses in
the selection of the Minister; and, under deed, but often by the Minister
the same sanction, hymns of human comand clerk alone, while the congre position have been introduced in some gation, for the most part, stand by churches ; and it is singular enough, that, as though they were unconcerned
generally speaking, whatever pains have
becn bestowed upon the improvement of spectators. I acknowledge, in
age, 1 psalmoly in our churches, have been bedeed, that this alternate and re
this alternate and re- stowed upon these extra psalms and hymns, sponsive reading, in congregations while, by a strange inconsistency, the where the people very generally psalms and hymns, which form so large a unite, is far from being a service portion of the appointed services them
selves, have been entirely overlooked 80 unmeaning or void of effect, as
* that it is, indeed, almost forgotten tbat many, I trust, can attest from their they are, properly speaking, psalms and own experience. It keeps up a hymns.