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elevated and our affections warmed, by celebrating The order, in which the books of both Teslathe praises of God, we are prepared to listen with ments are read, is that in which they stand. Only attention and reverence to the history of his provi- | in the Old, the Prophet Isaiah, containing the fullest dence, the dispensation of his grace, and the rules predictions of Christ's coming and kingdom, is of our duty. Here therefore follow, with the inter placed at the approach of his nativity: and in the vention only of a hymn, two lessons, the first taken New, the Gospels and Acts are the Lessons for the from the Old Testament, the second from the New. morning, and the Epistles for the afternoon. In The course pursued by the Church points out the this manner we make provision for every day in order and disposition of the two covenants, and the year: and hence one great recommendation of shews the harmony and connexion that exists be- daily attendance on public prayers, where there are tween them.
SHEPHERD. opportunities for it, is, that by means of it we shall After the Psalms follow the Lessons. For hav proceed regularly through the sacred writings, and ing, according to the Exhortation, "set forth God's preserve the due connection of the several discovemost worthy praise," we proceed to “hear his most ries, made in them to man. But for the first Lesboly word." And then a respite is given to the sons on Sundays, those chapters of the Old Tesbent of the mind: for, whereas in the work of tament are selected, which appear to be most usepraising it was active, in hearing it is only attentive. ful. The second Lessons being from the New, Besides, a different faculty of the soul is now called there was no necessity, and little room for choice. into employment. In the Psalms the will and af And to Holy days such portions of both are adapted, fections were employed; but now in the Lessons as best agree with the occasion. Abp. Secker. chiefly the understanding. And, as with the mem Whilst the Scriptures are reading, the people bers of the body, so with the faculties of the mind, should reverently attend to what is read, considera change of employment prevents weariness, and ing that it is the Word of God, which is the rule affords relief. Dr. Eisse, Dr. Bennet. He, which of their duty, and by which they shall be judged prayeth in due sort, is thereby made the more at at the last day. And whensoever any thing aptentive to hear; and he, which heareth, the more plies to their own case, whether it be instruction earnest to pray.
Hooker. or correction, comfort or reproof, let them take parThat they, who are blessed with a revelation from ticular care thereof, and treasure it up in honest God, should read and hear it with reverence, when hearts, and endeavour to conduct themselves acthey assemble to worship him, is a plain dictate of cording to it in the whole course of their conversareason and religion. Accordingly the Jews “read tion. Thus the publick reading of God's word Moses and the Prophets in their synagogues of old will become truly profitable, and they will have time," as the book of Acts informs us, Acts xiii. 27, reason to return God special thanks for every op15. 21; and so indeed do writers of their own, in portunity of hearing it: whereas otherwise it will the same age with it: who boast of the practice only aggravate their sins, and increase their conas a most useful and honourable distinction pecu demnation.
Dr. Bennet. liar to their nation, that the laws of life were thus With respect to the Apocryphal books it may be published to all the people. The primitive Chris observed, that they are read in the congregation, tians, as one of the earliest apologists for them, not as divine, but 'as venerable for their antiquity Justin Martyr, tells us, read at their meeting, both and for the spirit of religion that breathes in them. the Jewish prophets, and the writings of the apos that the doctrine of them in the main is excellent, tles, in proper portions. And when the Church of and the narrations instructive; that they were quoRome had broken them into small fragments, in ted with respect in the first ages of Christianity; terrupted with other things; and had continued to that they were read in publick from very early ages; read even these in Latin, after it was no longer un- | that it would have given great and needless ofderstood ; our Church rectified both errors; and hath fence at the Reformation to have left them out taken care that the Old Testament should be gone entirely; and that they are never appointed for the througb once a year and the New thrice. Only we Lord's day. At least the second Lessons are at ornit some parts of the former; which are repeti all times canonical Scripture: of which a great tions of what is related in other parts, or bare deal more is read, besides the Psalms, even in lists of genealogies and families, or 100 mystical those of our Churches which have not week-day and abstruse to be edifying in publick; on which prayers, than in any one congregation not of the fast account we omit also the book of Revelation, Church of England.
Abp. Secker. excepting two or three chapters ; matters of such Upon Saints'-days another order is observed : difficulty being wisely thought fitter for the private for upon them the Church appoints Lessons out of meditation and study of those, who are qualified to the moral books, such as the Proverbs, Ec:lesiastes, engage in them.
Ecclesiasticus, and Wisdom, which containing ex
1 Note, That before every Lesson, the such a Book : And after cvery Lesson,
Minister shall say, Here beginneth such Here endeth the first, or the second Les
a Chapter, or Verse of such a Chapter, of son. (23.) cellent instructions of life and conversation, are fit table of second lessons also, which is accordingly to be read upon days of saints, whose exemplary done. Those for the morning are intended to suit lives and deaths are the causes of the Church's the several seasons, without any material repetition solemn commemoration of them, and commenda of the epistles and gospels for the same season; tion of them to us.
and those for the evening are selected in the order Other holydays, such as Christmas-day, the Cir of the sacred books. Besides this the table of first cumcision, the Epiphany, &c. have proper Lessons lessons has been reviewed; and some new chapappointed suitable to the occasions.
ters are introduced on the supposition of their being And, as for the second Lessons, though gener more edifying; and some transpositions of lessons ally the Church observes the same course on Sun have been made, the better to suit the seasons." days as on week-days, yet on some particular holy The committee who where empowered by the condays and saints’-days such Lessons are appointed, vention of 1785 to form the Calendar, were the as either explain the mystery, relate the event Rev. Dr. White, the present venerable Bishop of commemorated, or apply the example.
Pennsylvania, the Rev. Dr. Smith, and the Rev.
Wheatley. | Dr. Wharton. The committee appointed by the The proper Lessons are very well chosen, espe convention of 1789, to prepare a Calendar and cially those for particular occasions : some of which,
Table of Lessons for morning and evening prayer particularly Gen. xxii. for Good-Friday, are the throughout the year, were the Rev. Dr. Parker, same which the Church used in St. Augustin's (afterwards Bishop of Massachusetts,) the Rev. time.
Dean Comber. Dr. Moore, (afterwards Bishop of New-York,) the There being in the English Book, select Les Rev. Mr. Bond, Dr. Clarkson, and the Rev. Mr. sons from the Old Testament, for Sundays, was Jarvis, (afterwards Bishop of Connecticut.) Their thought useful; and the reasons for it seemed to report having been amended by the house of Bishjustify the taking of select Lessons from the New. ops, was ratified by the Convention, and is now Whether it has been done with judgment, and the order used in the American Church. whether the same may be said of the moderate Note to the American edition of Wheatley. changes made in the columns of Lessons from the (23.) Before every Lesson the minister is directOld, must be left to every man's opinion.
ed to give notice to the people what chapter he
Bp White. reads, by saying, Here beginneth such a chapter, The arrangement of lessons from the Old Tes or verse of such a chapter, of such a book : that tament appointed for Sundays in the American so the people, if they have their Bibles with them, Church, is different from that observed in the may, by looking over them, be the more attentive. English. From Advent lo Septuagesima nearly The care of the primitive Church in this case was the same order is observed in both; but from Sep very remarkable. Before the Lesson began, the tuagesima to Easter, in the American service, pas Deacon first stood up, calling out aloud, Let us sages from the prophets of a penitential character, listen, my brethren; and then be that read invited or exhorting to repentance, are read; from Easter his audience to attention, by introducing the Lesson to Whitsunday, chapters from the prophets adapt with these words, Thus saith the Lord. After ed to the seasons; and from Trinity Sunday to the every Lesson the minister with us is also directed 220 Sunday after Trinity, selections from the His to give notice that it is finished, by saying, Here torical Books. The remainder of the year, the endcth the first or second Lesson ; which is the lessons from the book of Proverbs coincides nearly form now prescribed instead of the old one, Here with those in the English service. The lessons endeth such a chapter of such a book, which were from the New Testament in the English Prayer the words enjoined by all our former Liturgies. Book, are those appointed for the day of the month. As for the people, there is no posture prescribed In the American, there are lessons specially ap- | for them ; but in former times they always stood, pointed for all the Sundays in the year. The prin to shew their reverence. It is recorded of the Jews cipal part of these alterations were made in what in the book of Nehemiah, that when Ezra opened is now called "the proposed Book," or the Liturgy the book of the law, in the sight of the people, all set forth under the authority of the Convention of the people stood up. And in the first ages of Chris1785; and the following reasons are given for them tianity those only were permitted to sit, who by in the preface. “The same reasons which occa | reason of old age, or some other infirmity, were not sioned a table of first lessons for Sundays and able to stand throughout the whole time of divine other boly-days seemed to require the making of al service.
Te Deum laudamus. (24.)
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets WE praise thee, O God; we acknow- praise thee. edge thee to be the Lord.
The noble army of Martyrs praise thee. All the earth doth worship thee, the Fa The holy Church, throughout all the ther everlasting.
world, doth acknowledge thee: To thee all Angels cry aloud; the Hea The Father, of an infinite majesty; vens, and all the Powers therein.
Thine adorable, true, and only Son ; To thee, Cherubim and Seraphim con- | Also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. tinually do cry.
Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth. I Thou art the everlasting Son of the Fa
Heaven and earth are full of the majesty ther. of thy glory.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver The glorious company of the Apostles | man, thou didst humble thyself to be born praise thee.
of a virgin.
(24.) In the circle of Christian duties, there is fession of faith ; declaring the general consent unto none more delightful, none more generally necessary, | it, and the particulars of it; namely, concerning than that of praise. As God in every thing shews every Person in the Trinity, the Father, Son, and mercy, so must we "in every thing give thanks, Holy Ghost; and more largely concerning the Son, (1 Thess. v. 18.) teaching and admonishing one as to his divinity, his humanity, and particularly another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, his incarnation ; his death; his present glory; and singing with grace in our hearts unto the Lord.” | his return to judgment. Thirdly, a supplication (Col iii. 16.) Hymos of praise are peculiarly be- grounded upon it; 1. for all his people, that they coming in the house of God: and from the days of may be preserved here, and saved hereafter; 2. for our Saviour and his Apostles to the present times, ourselves, who daily praise him, that we may be the recitation of songs of thanksgiving has ever kept from future sin, and be pardoned for what is constituted, one principal part of the public wor past, because we trust in him. Dean Comber. ship.
It appears certain, that this hymn was used genBesides the Psalms, and the sacred writings, erally by the Church in her publick devotions behymns of human composition were admitted into fore the middle of the sixth century, at which time the publick service. Such, in all probability, was St. Bennet instituted his order, and prescribed the the bymo, which a Roman bistorian and inquisitor singing of this hymn as one of his rules. Dr. informs us, the Christians of the first ages, “in Nicholls. The author however was probably not their antelucan assemblies, addressed to Christ as St. Ambrose, but Nicetius, a Bishop who lived at God."
that time. But be he the author, or be he not, the From ancient canons and authentic records it ap frame is so excellently modelled, that the Church pears, that hymns were intermingled with the other could not injoin a better of human structure: and parts of the service, and in particular, that after the indeed it is the structure only that is human, the reading of a portion of the Old and New Testament, materials being divine, and of sacred derivation. a psalm or hymn was usually sung. Now this is
L'Estrange. the very order which the Church of England ob- Whoever was the author of the Te Deum, its serves in her service. Both in her Morning and excellence is surpassed by no human composition. Evening Prayer, she appoints a hymn to be used Indeed the composition alone is human, the mateafter the first Lesson, and another after the second. rials are of divine original. Ever since its intro
By this grateful variety the mind of the devout duction into the offices of the Church, which look worshipper is secured against distraction, relieved
place in the sixth century, it has deservedly been from languor, and enabled to proceed with atten held in the highest estimation. And the veneration and fervoar.
ble compilers of our Liturgy have with great proThis ancient and excellent Hymn is said to have
priety retained this hymn in the daily Morning serbeen composed by St. Ambrose and first sung at vice, the baptism of St. Augustin : though afterward the
It was the complaint of Dr. Bennet, and is still to people, as St. Ambrose himself saith, daily repeat
be lamented, that in the use of this hymn many are ed it with great devotion and delight. It contains exceedingly careless. Some repeat it with so little three particulars. First, an act of praise offered to attention and zeal, that they seem neither to regard God by us, and by all creatures as well in earth as
what they say, nor to consider to whom the hymn in heaven ; particularly the angels, and the saints is addressed. The language, he observes, is wonwhich are there, join with us. Secondly, a con- | derfully sublime and affectionate, and we cannot etter any thing more pious and heavenly. Let our each article of which contains an additional motive souls be warmed with correspondent affections. to praise God. Let os mentally speak the versicles, which we do not The Angels and glorified spirits sèe God face to
prongence with our lips, and make the whole hymn face. As we behold his glory only by the eye of one continued act of ardent and intense devotion. faith, we cannot better set forth bis praise, than by
Of the various excellencies of Te Deum, its me- giving our unfeigned assent to his revelation, and thodical cornposition is not the least considerable. by professing our faith in him, whom the Host of It is divided into three parts, each in its original Heaven worship and adore. 10. As members of form, composed of ten versicles. In its present the holy Catholic Church, we acknowledge the everstate it is observable, that there is an odd versicle, blessed Trinity, 11. the infinite majesty of the Faand that the first part consists only of nine; for the ther, 12. the honor due to his only begotten Son, versicles which were formerly the first and second, our Lord and Saviour, 13. and the divinity and have since been united into one.
personality of the Holy Ghost, our advocate in The first part is an act of praise, or an amplified Heaven, our comforter on earth. 14. More espeDoxology.
cially we address ourselves to our Redeemer, and The second, a confession of the leading articles as he is very God of very God, we acknowledge of the Christian Faith.
him to be the King of glory, a title appropriated to The third contains intercessions for the whole the Lord of Hosts alone. 15. We declare, that he Church, and supplications for ourselves.
is the everlasting Son of the Father, not created as The nine introductory versicles, which anciently angels, nor adopted as men, but by eternal genwere ten, are entirely eucharistical, consisting of eration begotten of the Father, with whom he is praise. Having heard the promises, or threats of co-eternal and co-equal. 16. The hymn proceeds the Almighty, and persuaded by the precepts, or to celebrate his mercies, and with joy and thankwarned by the examples, contained in the first fulness declares that, when he underlook to deliver Lesson, we begin this hymn with praising the in us from death eternal, and to accomplish our respirer of the sacred volume from which the Lesson demption, he disdained not to be conceived in the is extracted.
womb of the Virgin Mary, to partake of the same 1. We first express our gratitude to God, and ac nature, and to become subject to the same infirmiknowledge his supreme authority over all his crea ties with ourselves. 17. Being thus God and man, tures. 2. To heighten our devotion, we turn our he submitted to the cruel death of the cross, and by eyes towards the rational part of his creation upon dying for us overcame death, and disarmed it of earth, who in general we presume, as well as our the sharpness of its sting. By his meritorious sufselves, daily perform this duty. 3. We then direct ferings he has procured for all true believers, adour attention to the inhabitants of Heaven, one mission into the kingdom of Heaven, from which principal part of whose employment, and one chief they were excluded by their own sins, as well as source of whose happiness, we are taught to be through the transgression of their primitive father lieve, is to glorify God's holy name.
18. Our blessed Redeemer, as the reward of his 4. This hymn not only opens to us a view of obedience, sits on the right hand of God. He has Heaven, but with the evangelical prophet (Isa. vi. | already, in his human nature, taken possession o 3.) and beloved disciple (Rev. iv. 8.) it carries us the kingdom of glory in the name of all his faithfu thither, to behold the various order of angels, che followers, and dispenses it to all that believe in him rubim, seraphim, and all the heavenly powers. 19. From this height of glory, we believe, that he 5. In honour of the glorious trinity, they continual the man Jesus Christ, will come to be our judge ly sing, “ Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts, and if we honestly endeavour to conform our live the whole earth is full of thy glory :" In which to his Gospel, our very judge, who is now our me divine hymn they acknowledge God to be Jehovah-| diator and intercessor, will be our advocate an Sabaoth, (Sabaoth is the plural number of a friend. Hebrew word, and signifies armies, or hosts, as 20. Here our thanksgiving and confession it is commonly rendered in the translation of the faith are naturally turned into prayer.—Having con Bible.] or the original author and absolute gover templated the Saviour of the world, in his eterns nor of all powers both in heaven and earth—6,7,8, glory, and in his state of humiliation and exalta 9. The hymn proceeds to invite us to join with tion, we intercede for all the people of God, in the angelic Hosts, with the prophets, apostles, and
| ploring internal assistance, and everlasting salvi martyrs, in praises to God now, as we expect to be tion: We beseech bim to help them with hi united with them in glory hereafter.
grace, and to enable them to perform their dut The ten following versicles, which compose the | upon earth, and, 21. finally by his infinite mere second part of the hymn, are a confession of faith, | to admit them to be numbered with those departe When thou hadst overcome the sharpness And we worship thy name ever, world of death, thou didst open the kingdom of without end. heaven to all believers.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day Thon sittest at the right hand of God, in without sin. the glory of the Father.
O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy We believe that thou shalt come to be our upon us. Judge.
O Lord, let thy mercy be upon us, as our We therefore pray thee, help thy servants, trust is in thee. whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious | O Lord, in thee have I trusted ; let me blood.
never be confounded. Make them to be numbered with thy
1 Or this Canticle. (24.) saints, in glory everlasting.
O Lord, save thy people, and bless thine Benedicite, omnia opera Domini. heritage.
O ALL ye Works of the Lord, bless ye Govern them, and lift them up for ever. the Lord; praise him, and magnify him for Day by day we magnify thee ;
ever. Saints whom he has already received into his rest | him, and our confidence that we shall not eventualand will reward with his glory. 22. That we may 1 ly be ashamed, confounded, or disappointed of our be assured of obtaining this heavenly inheritance, hope.
SHEPHERD. we entreat him to save his people from all evil, If it should be asked why the Doxology, is not and bless his peculiar heritage, the Christian to be used at the end of this hymn, it may be reChurch. 23. We beseech the shepherd of our plied that the hymn itself is but an enlarged Doxsouls to guide and direct us, whenever we err and ology. It is also to be further observed, that there stray, and when we stumble, and are liable to fall, is no authority for responding Amen, at the close to lift us up, to strengthen and support us against of it.
T. C. B. our spiritual adversaries. 24. This protection and (24.) The Song of the Three Children is somesupport for ourselves and others, we solicit with times used, instead of the “Te Deum," after the bumble confidence, because agreeably to God's will first lesson: which, though it be not canonical and our duty, we daily magoify his name in hymns, Scripture, is an exact paraphrase of the 148th and, 25. worship him constantly in our prayers. Psalm, being an elegant summons to all God's 26. Sensible of our own infirmities, and assured works to praise him, intimating that they all set tbat praise is not acceptable from the lips of sin forth his glory, and inviting us, who have the benefit Ders, we pray that we may be kept this day from of them, to praise and magnify his name with committing sin; that temptation may neither de them. It begins with the whole creation, even "all prive us of the benefit of our present devotions, nor the works of the Lord," and then particularizes indispose us for the return of duty on the following the several parts of it with their inhabitants. morn. 27. We know, that our transgressions are
Dean Comber. numerous and grievous. We therefore beseech
This was an ancient hymn in the Jewish Christ not only to preserve us from falling into sin, Church, and adopted into the Christian worship in but also to forgive our past offences. We be public devotion from very early times : being used, seech him to look on our frailty and strengthen us; as St. Augustin affirms, in his time, on the solemn on our guilt and pardon us. We therefore reiterate festivals of the Church. Indeed our Church doth our fervent petition, have mercy upon us. 28. Un
not accept it for canonical Scripture, because it is less we find mercy for our past sins, we must be not found in the Hebrew, nor was allowed in the condemned, and except we obtain the grace of fu Jewish canon. But, by whomsoever and upon ture assistance, we shall be overcome by our spirit whatever occasion it was composed or uttered, it ual adversaries : we therefore pray the third time, is not only very ancient, but is a pious form of that his mercy may lighten or fall upon us, and that praise, and fit to excite a spirit of devotion in the it may comfort and invigorate us. Here we plead reader.
Dr. Nicholls, Dean Comber. not our merits but our distress. On ourselves and St. Cyprian quotes it as a part of the holy Scripall sublunary power we renounce dependance. Our tures: in which opinion he is seconded by Ruffinus, confidence and trust we place only in his mercy who very severely inveighs against St. Jerome for and truth. 29. He who is faithful and just has doubting of its divine authority; and informs us, promised, that he will save those who put their that it was used in the Church long before his time, trust in him. We therefore conclude this hymn in who himself lived A. D. 390. And when after. the words of the Psalmist, expressing our hope, wards it was left out by some that performed di. that we are in the number of those that trust in vine service, the fourth council of Toledo, in the