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superstition against the Church of Rome, and not the institution of
festivals which he had commanded the Jews to observe. “ To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me ? saith the Lord : I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts ; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hands, to tread my courts ? Bring no more vain oblations : incense is an abomination unto me: the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, my soul hateth : they are a trouble unto me: I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear : your hands are full of blood.” (Isa. i. 11-15.) “ Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our souls, and thou takest no knowledge ? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.” (Isa. lviii. 3.)
I will not quote further on this subject, but refer you at once to the prophet Isaiah (ch. i. and lviii.); and beg you to reflect upon the reason given why the fastings and prayers of the Jews were despised. “ Behold, in the day of your fast, ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.” Consider these words, my brethren, and see how well they apply to that fast which I have already shown you has been observed by the Church of Christ, from the very dawn of Christianity to the present hour ; which the Church of Rome herself has preserved, amidst all her errors, and which the Church of England enjoins by solemn services, and by the most melancholy and imperative obligations upon all her children!
The awful considerations of the great event we celebrate upon Good Friday, should, indeed, lead Christians, of every denomination, to set apart that day for meditation, humiliation, and prayer ; and I cannot think it uncharitable, or contrary to my text, to declare, that, to a believer, of whatever sect or name, there can require but little argument to enforce the observance of the day. What, then, is a minister to say to his congregation, when he turns from those whose consciences he is bound to exonerate from blame in not observing this fast; to those who profess to keep it, and sees them guilty of the identical sins denounced by the prophet Isaiah ? When he sees them in the day of their fast—that day on which they should bow down, in dust and ashes, before the cross of Calvary, finding those sinful pleasures which nailed his Saviour to the tree? When he sees them exacting from their children, and servants, and husbands, and wives, and cattle, all their labours; or if they do not exact all, yet still dividing the day between God and mammon ; professing to be abased and humbled for sin, to renounce the world and its vanities, the flesh and its appetites, Satan and his temptations, and yet unaccountably settling their accounts, or carrying on their accustomed pursuits; eating and drinking, rioting and reveling in worldly enjoyments or worldly ease ?
There is, indeed, too much reason to fear, that we may uncharitably condemn some who refuse to observe this fast, when they see how some of us observe it; but there is no uncharitableness in declaring, that they who are admitted members of the Church of England, who frequent our services, and take part in our worship, who have partaken of baptism at our fonts, and are outwardly wearing the badge of Christ's soldiers and servants, and who refuse to celebrate the wonderful events recorded in the services of the ensuing week, by, at least, a decent and devout consecration of one of its days to the worship of their God and Lord,--are justly and inevitably exposed to the denunciations recorded by the prophet, “When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you : yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear,"
Little, indeed, can he know of the depravity of his heart, or of his estate by nature, of what he has fallen from by corruption and sin, who will not acknowledge his dying Redeemer ; and little can he feel of gratitude for that sacrifice, or of the obligation he is under to that Redeemer, if he cannot spare one day from the world, from the flesh, and the devil, of a week consecrated to the most wonderful contemplations that ever passed through the mind of man or angel; if he cannot present himself, with his children and dependants, upon that day, in the house of the Lord, to humble himself, not in the weak and silly superstition of a crafty priesthood, but in the genuine repentance and lowliness of faith. imploring pardon for the past, and " grace to help in every time of need.”
My brethren, the text has told us, that “one man esteemeth one day above another : another esteemeth every day alike : let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” If you be of those who esteem one day, this day of which I speak, above all other days, as a day of prayer, fasting, and humiliation ; or if you be of those who esteem every day alike, as consecrated to God by the ties of religion and the hallowed remembrances of your Redeemer's career,—then do I call upon you, in the name of God, --in the name of Christ, the Lamb of Sacrifice,in the name of duty,-in the voice of your own best interests, – by all the sacred associations of the garden of Gethsemane, and the bloodstained cross of Calvary,--to forsake your pleasures, and to leave your labours, and to meet me here, on Friday next, to celebrate, according to the ritual of our holy and apostolic Church, the atonement upon which you can alone ground the slightest of your hopes for acceptance hereafter at the throne of God. Surely, you cannot be less moved by such con. siderations, than the earth that shuddered to its centre, and the sun that veiled his glory in a cloud of mourning. Surely, when all nature bowed before the sublime spectacle of the Son of God himself enduring death that you might live, your hearts will lead you, like the pious women of Jerusalem, to the foot of the cross, and cause you to exclaim with the astonished centurion, in the accents of conviction and hope, “ Truly this was a Son of God!"
O, my brethren, let not these exhortations seem to you as sound. ing brass, or a tinkling cymbal ;" rather let them be to you the admonitions of a friend, who would lead you from the world of sin, vanity, and delusion, in which you dwell, to a contemplation of Christ upon the cross, as preparatory to meeting you (where I trust we shall meet), VOL. XX. NO. IV.
on an early day, at the table of him who thus “ died for
offences," that he might“ rise for your justification."
Convinced and persuaded fully persuaded in your minds,-act up to your convictions ; and may the blessing of your Saviour, who, in his agony, implored forgiveness on his murderers,—" Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,”—be upon your determinations, their fulfilment, and their results!
CONSECRATION OF CHURCHES, &c. We noticed and commended the publication of this Service, in our Number for February, page 75 ; but we think that our readers would be still further gratified by seeing its insertion in our Miscellany. “ The Form of Prayer and Ceremonies used at the Consecration of
CH ches, Chapels, and Churchyards."* PREPARATIONS IN ORDER TO THE CONSECRATING OF A CHURCH AND
CHURCHYARD. The Church is to be pewed, and furnished with a Reading-desk, Common Prayer, and great Bible, as also with a Pulpit and Cushion, a Font, a
Communion-table, and with Linen and Vessels for the same. [The Burial-ground is to be properly enclosed, fenced, and completed, with gates
and Church-ways.] | The Churchwardens are to be named, and the Clerk appointed ; and the Deed
of Conveyance or Donation of the Ground, the Endowments, and the evidences thereof, the Nomination of the Minister, and such other documents as shall in any case be requisite, are to be laid before the Bishop or his Chancellor, some time before the day proposed for the Consecration of the
Church. | An intimation of the Bishop's intention to consecrate the Church (and Burial
ground], with the day and hour appointed for it, is to be fixed on the Church-door at least three days beforehand. Chairs are to be set on the north side of the Communion-table for the Bishop, on the south for the Chaplains, and one conveniently near the Bishop's
chair for the Chancellor or Registrar. | The Communion-vessels are to be placed on the Communion-table ; or the
Books and Vessels may be presented and received at the time of Consecration.
Tue Form of CONSECRATING A CHURCH OR CHAPEL. 1 The Bishop, attended by his Chaplains, is to be received at the west door, or
at some other part of the Church or Churchyard which is most convenient, for his entrance, by the Chancellor, Registrar, Minister, Churchwardens and Trustees, and by them conducted to the Vestry-room. Having proceeded in his robes to the front of the Communion-table, the Minister presents to him a Petition praying that he will consecrate the Church, and the Deed of Endowment (if any), which the Bishop delivers to the Registrar, to be by him read aloud. The Petition having been read, the Bishop signifies his consent to consecrate
the Church (and Burial-ground) according to the Prayer therein contained.
* London : James Burns, 17, Portman-street.
As soon as the Church is quiet, the Bishop and his Chaplains, with the
Preacher, and the Minister who is to officiate, and the rest of the Clergy, if any other be present, walk from the east to the west end of the Church (or from the Communion-table to the chief entrance), and back again, repeating alternately the 24th Psalm ; the Bishop beginning :
Psalm xxiv. THE earth is the Lord's, and all that therein is ; the compass of the
world, and they that dwell therein. 2. For he hath founded it upon the seus, and prepared it upon the floods.
3. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord, or who shall rise up in his holy place ?
4. Even he that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; and that hath not lift up his mind unlo vanity, or sworn to deceive his neighbour.
5. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6. This is the generation of them that seek him, even of them that seek thy face, O Jacob. 7. Lift up your heads, O ye gates ; and be
lift up, ye everlasting doors : and the King of Glory shall come in.
8. Who is the King of Glory? It is the Lord, strong and mighty, even the Lord mighty in battle. 9. Lift up your heads,
() ye gates ; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors : and the King of Glory shall come in.
10. Who is the King of Glory? Even the Lord of Hosts, he is the King of Glory.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
When they come to the Lord's Table, the Bishop, taking his Şeat in a Chair on the North Side thereof, the Deed of Conveyance is presented to him by the Minister ; the Bishop lays it on the Table, and standing on the North
Side, turns to the Congregation, and says : DEARLY beloved in the Lord ; forasmuch as devout and holy men,
as well under the Law as under the Gospel, moved either by the secret inspiration of the Holy Spirit, or by the express command of God, or by their own reason and sense of order and decency, have erected houses for the public worship of God, and separated them from all profane and common uses ; which godly practice hath a manifest tendency to advance the honour of God's holy name, and to enliven the devotion of those who are engaged in his service : let us humbly hope, that our heavenly Father will favourably approve our present purpose, of setting apart this place in solemn manner, for the performance of the several offices of religious worship, and let us faithfully and devoutly pray for his blessing on this our undertaking.
Then the Bishop, kneeling down, says the following Prayer : ETERNAL God, mighty in power, of majesty incomprehensible,
whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, much less the walls of temples made with hands, who yet hast been graciously pleased to
promise thine especial presence in whatever place even two or three of thy faithful servants shall assemble in thy name, to offer their plications and their praises to thee ; vouchsafe, O Lord, to be present with us who are here gathered together, to consecrate this place, with all humility and readiness of heart, to the honour of thy great name ; separating it henceforth from all unhallowed, ordinary, and common uses, and dedicating it entirely to thy service, for reading therein thy
If it is a chapel in which most holy word, for celebrating thy holy sacrasome sacramental or reli- ments, for offering to thy glorious Majesty the semnized, the sentences and sacrifices of prayer and thanksgiving, for blessing prayers applicable to those thy people in thy name, and for performing all
other holy ordinances which may be lawfully solemnized therein. Accept, O Lord, this service at our hands, and bless it with such success, as may tend most to thy glory, and the salvation of thy people, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
rites are to be omitted,
| After this, the Bishop standing up, and turning his face toward the Congre
gation, says : REGARD, O Lord, the supplications of thy servants ; and grant, that
whosoever shall be dedicated to thee in this house by baptism, may be sanctified by the Holy Ghost, delivered from thy wrath and eternal death, and being made a living member of Christ's Church, may ever remain in the number of thy faithful and elect children. Amen. GRANT, O Lord, that they who in this place shall in their own
persons renew the promises and vows made for them by their sureties at their baptism, and thereupon be confirmed by the bishop, may continue thine for ever ; and being preserved in the unity of thy Church, may daily increase in thy Holy Spirit more and more, until they come to thine everlasting kingdom. Amen. GRANT, O Lord, that whosoever shall receive in this place the blessed
sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, may come to that holy ordinance with a true, penitent heart, lively faith, and perfect charity; and being filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction, may, to their great and endless comfort, obtain remission of their sins, and all other benefits of his passion. Amen. GRANT, O Lord, that whosoever shall be joined together in this place
in the holy estate of matrimony, may faithfully perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, and remain in perfect love and peace together unto their lives' end. Amen. GRANT, O Lord, that by thy holy word which shall be read and
preached in this place, the hearers thereof may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same. Amen. GRANT, O Lord, that whosoever shall confess their sins, and offer
up their prayers and praises unto thy divine Majesty in this place, may draw near unto thee with such steadfastness of faith, and with such seriousness, sincerity, and devout affection of mind, that they may be