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the congregation, under the encouragement of the Apostolic declaration that “the faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.' In these prayers is particularly testified, that zealous regard, which as in an earlier discourse I asserted, the Compilers of our Liturgy so eminently possessed, for the Nation and for the National Religion, for the Church and for the State. Here you have prayers offered up at the throne of him who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the fountain of all goodness, and the giver of all grace, for whatever is powerful or influential in the land—for those that make the laws, and those who are to administer them—for him who bears the sword, and those to whose hands he commits it—for those whose example gives direction to the public manners, and those whose office it is to instruct the people in his word, and to incline them to his way—for those whose counsels are to regulate the concerns of the nation with foreign states, and to give prosperity and to ensure tranquillity in their own : for all these in their several offices and vocations, we offer up our prayers. Difficult as the right performance of their duties is, important as the trusts committed to them, extensive as the sphere over which their control and their superintendence is to be exerted, the more urgent is the necessity for entreating of the Lord, that he may “inform his Princes after his will, and teach his senators wisdom,”* that he may direct their counsels and give efficacy to their enactments, for the protection of the people and the true Religion established among them. These prayers well considered, contain the principle of duty, the rules of action to those in authority, and by necessary implication, to those who are under it: and while they solicit for the Clergy the continuance of that healthful spirit of grace, by which the Church has so long been marvellously preserved, they connect with it the spiritual interests of the congregations committed to their charge. The prayer for all conditions of men is in fact a complete Litany in itself. The want of such a general prayer. was felt in the first form of our Liturgy, and at the last review it was added to the service. In what a pious spirit of Christian charity it is composed, a very few words will shew. The first paragraph entreats, that the Creator and preserver of all mankind be pleased to “make his ways known unto all men; his saving health unto all nations.” This is in fact a paraphrase on that petition of our Lord's prayer, “thy kingdom come,” and in the true spirit of the Gospel it seeks Salvation for him who is now in array against it, for the conversion of him who is in error and unbelief. The
* James v. 15.
second paragraph entreats, that by the good guidance and governance of his Holy Spirit, the faith of those who profess themselves members of the Catholic Church may be pure, and their lives righteous. After these spiritual blessings solicited, the last paragraph looks to the temporal afflictions under which many of our brethren labour, and entreats for them from the common Father of all, that he will grant them patience to endure what he deems it not expedient yet to remove, and a release from their sufferings when his parental goodness shall in its wisdom appoint the
What one class of dwellers on the earth has not its interests provided for in this prayer, what want incidental to any is not adverted to in its comprehension ?
With one observation I shall close this discourse. It has been objected by many, that our Church service is too long. Now there is one prayer in this part
of our Liturgy, the recital of which by the Minister, is not compelled ; the rubrick merely says it “may be said after any of the former.” Now it always is said by the Minister, and I think there is not any congregation met together in a Christian Church, which would decide that in reading this, he is to be condemned for trespassing unnecessarily on their time. I shall conclude by reading it.
“O God, whose nature and property is ever to have mercy and to forgive, receive our humble petitions; and though we be tied and bound by the chain of our sins, yet let the pitifulness of thy great mercy loose us, for the honor of Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Advocate.” Amen.
THE APOSTLES CREED.
MATTHEW XXVIII. 19.
Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
The Church in its Liturgy calls on the congregation, calls on each in the presence of the rest, to declare his belief in that Holy Trinity, wherein the Author of our faith required that each should be baptized. The Apostles' Creed, (to the explanation and the proofs of which I mean to devote this discourse,) has its name as containing the substance of the doctrine taught by the Apostles, and from its use in Churches over which they had presided. Placed as I have shewn, most judiciously in this part of the Church service, it has been drawn up in the form most convenient for each to recite, in accordance with, and clear of interruption from, the rest. It