Imágenes de páginas

New Testament Church we find the prac-joy that she had brought forth a man tice still continued, and spoken of with child.” approbation, if not even as an incum- So also we are strongly of opinion that bent duty by the chief of the Apostles. the Church should have a prescribed form “ How," says St. Paul, speaking of the for marriage to be rigidly imposed. We unknown tongues, “shall he that occu- cannot see the slightest use of variety in pieth the room of the unlearned say this service, and yet there are as many amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he varieties as there are ministers. Occaunderstandeth not what thou sayest." sionally one hears a clergyman of taste

5. We would like to see a prescribed performing the ceremony beautifully and form for baptism, marriage, the Lord's solemnly, but as all clergymen are not Supper, and for the burial of the men of talent, and still fewer men of dead.

taste, in many cases it is a sorry exTake first baptism. We have never hibition. Sometimes a minister dives been able to see the use of any variety in into all the minutiæ with scrupulous the administration of this ordinance. On particularity. At another time he gives the contrary, it has always appeared to a sort of tag-rag and bob-tail address, us reasonable that the united wisdom of which, being finished, one can hardly the Church should determine the explana- tell whether a marriage has been celetion to be used, the confession to be asked, brated at all or not. We know one miniand the vows to be imposed. As it is, ster who quotes Martin Tupper largely in our clergymen are substantially left to his marriage service, and who, no doubt, themselves, and each one thinks his own thinks that in so doing he does a very way the best. Young men often take fine thing. We recollect once hearing & unwarrantable liberties, and parents are young minister, whose abilities were far confused at the different creeds and dif- above the average, evidently extemporisferent vows that are forced upon them by ing his service, and the result was very different ministers, while, as for the painful to one who loved the Scotch private administration of the sacrament, Church. Most of the company were unwhich is quite contrary to the rules of fortunately English and Episcopalians, the church, we have more than once seen and one of them turned round to us as it hurried through with indecent haste, soon as it was over and said, “ah, indeed, and thus deprived of all solemnity. that's the Scotch marriage service is it?

Good common sense is just as rare in ah, indeed,” evidently glorying in his the pulpit as in the world, and it is pain- Episcopalianism as he had never done ful to see the liberties which self-conceited before. For the benefit of the ladies we ministers sometimes take, such as leay. may mention that we know another ing out the name, and informing the clergyman who is polite enough in his parents that it has nothing to do with charge to their sex to leave out baptism ; or, what is quite a favourite“ obedient." plan among a certain class, separating it Young ministers, even when of ordinary as much as possible, by first baptising, ability and possessed of common sense, and then turning to the audience and which, as every body knows is an uncompolitely informing them, as a piece of mon quality, are at great loss to draw up secular information, that the child's a proper service. When they turn to name is M or N. How can it be that guide books, published under the title of such ministers overlook the scriptural forms of the Church of Scotland, they find and divine origin of this beautiful custom, a puzzling variety. In one there are two the giving of a new name upon prayers, in another only one. In one the Buch remarkable epochs as our being vows are particularly imposed on each converted to God, or admitted to the person, in another they are only asked in a Christian Church, a name by which general sort of way if they are going to be we are known in the Church for man and wife. This unsatisfactory state ever? As for the prayers connected of our marriage service is no doubt one of with baptism, we are sorry to say that the reasons why so many of the better those most appropriate guides furnished class go to the Episcopal minister to be by the Directory are so little made use of. married ; thus dishonouring the parish And speaking of this subject we may minister and the national Church. If mention an incident, though barely the Directory was only closely followed apropos, of which we were once witnesses there would be little to complain of, as in a large city parish church. The mini- the prayers and instructions are most ster, who had just baptised a child by the appropriate, the charges most solemn, name of Mary or Jane, in the prayer and, to crown all, as is most fitting and which followed, in alluding to the mother proper, it requires the parties being marfervently besought "that she might have ried to repeat the vows and obligatioas after the minister. Moreover, it requires | leads to the use of the English service. marriage to be celebrated in the church, We met but the other day, a most which we cannot but regard as the most patriotic Scotchman, and rigid Presbysolemn and the most suitable place for it. terian, who had spent a recent winter in We understand that in certain parts of Florida. Upon our asking him if he met the country the practice of marrying in in with any Scotchmen there? “ Yes," the church has only gone out within the said he,“ one poor fellow died when I last forty or fifty years, and, indeed, we was there, and as it was known that I have been informed of several parishes was one of his countrymen, I was sent for where the good old way is still kept up. to take some charge of his funeral. There Out of Scotland we believe that marriage was no clergyman within many miles, is usually performed by Scotch clergymen and as I did not like to commit him to in their place of worship, agreeably to the the dust without any Christian rites, Directory, and that whether there or in / without any evidence that we Scotchmen private, they are in the habit of perform believed in immortality and the resurrecing this and all other official acts in their tion, I read the English burial service." official costume.

The writer of this article once did likeWe would like also to see a burial ser. wise at a funeral at sea, on a stormy vice authorised and sanctioned by the Sabbath-day, at the request of the capChurch. There are very few unpreju- tain, also & Scotchman, who strongly diced Presbyterians who do not think it urged it as likely, more than any thing a great mistake that our Church has else, to impress the minds of the crew. banished all religious services from the Indeed, this use of the English Burial burial of the dead. Our system of inter- Service among Presbyterians is of every ment is scarcely decent; it is opposed to day occurrence at sea, in the colonies, all the instincts of the human heart; and and all round the world, and he knows is unworthy of those who believe and very little of the working of different rehope in Him who " is the resurrection ligious systems who is not aware that the and the life.”

want of a Scotch burial form on these The theory of the Church is against constantly occurring occasions, for the any religious service whatever at funerals. guidance of clergymen when they are The Directory, which is all the guide we present, and especially for the use of layhave on such matters, is especially hostile men when they are not, has greatly to any prayers being offered upon the weakened our Church. Again and again, occasion. It seems rather to take it for we repeat it, that the Church of Scotland granted, that a minister will not be pre- is not a fully equipped Church. Scotchsent, which we are sorry is very generally men themselves, even of the most prethe case with the funerals of the poor in judiced class, as soon as they go out of our large towns. If present, it allows Scotland, soon come to feel the improhim then, as at other times, to improve priety of there being no burial service, the occasion by an address which may be and we believe, that it is very common either at the grave or anywhere else. The for clergymen of our Church in England present prayers which are offered, are and the colonies to give an address at the quite contrary to the most specific in grave's mouth touching the resurrection junctions of the Directory. They came of the dead. We have more than once in in a sort of underhand way, as a grace been present at such a funeral, and have and thanksgiving for “the refreshments." seen the clergyman, a venerable ScotchAnd now that these refreshments are man, true to the faith of his country, very properly being abolished, they should after offering up a prayer in the house, in consistency follow. We suspect that taking his place at the front of the hearse, the rudest are not prepared for this; but and robed in his gown and bands, leading that on the contrary, all feel the propriety the way to the last resting-place of the of some religious service.

dead, and when the coffin was lowered Has not the time come when the into the grave, addressing the mourners, Church should take up the question, (who with heads uncovered, gathered and devise some suitable form as a round the narrow opening,) in words of guide to ministers, and a form to comfort taken from the Holy Scripture laymen when a minister is not present ? respecting the Lord of life, the rising A prayer to be used, a number of pas-again, and the world beyond the tomb, sages of scripture to be read bearing and in words of solemn warning as to upon the resurrection, and a brief ex- | the doom of all. Upon making some inhortation to the living would supply the quiries, we found that the people all defect. At sea, and often on land, the wished it, and indeed that they would want of such a provision by the Church not have submitted to have parted from

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

their dead without some such service at 1. Identify yourselves thoroughly with the sepulchre. In expressing our appro- Presbyterianism, adhere firmly to its bation of the practice, we no doubt run principles, and glory in your connection counter to the invincible prejudices of a with what we have no hesitation in prolarge class, but we believe that we have nouncing the most scriptural and noblest the sympathy also of a large class, less Christian Society upon earth. Not the prejudiced, less rude, more reverent, and church of one nation, but the church more eplightened than the other.

of many nations the great Protestant “Let all things be done decently and Platform. Identify yourselves with it, in order," says the Apostle; “ Let every versus priestcraft and all semi-popish one do what is right in his own eyes,” usages and superstitions. Some of our says the Church to all intents and pur readers may have imagined, because of poses, for our clergymen are really with our love of order and desire for some out any guide in discharging the duties of prescriptive forms—that we are favour. their office. Leaving the University, able to anglicanism, but we can assure where they have not even bad the oppor them that they were never more mistunity of listening to the prelections of a taken in their lives. Episcopacy as we Professor of Pastoral Theology, they are see it in Scotland, and as it now mani. quite at sea. Tied up most rigidly in re. | fests itself largely in England, is neither spect to doctrine, they have compensation more nor less than Laudism; and we of a very doubtful character, in unbound would like to see a little of the old ed license as to order. The present Direc Scotch aversion to it revived. We have tory is a dead letter, and any minister been in the habit of speaking of the would be sure to raise a popular clamour Church of England as a sister Church, against himself as an arch-innovator who but as this feeling is only reciprocated by would walk by it. Imperfect though we a small part of that communion, as the cannot but regard it, it is infinitely better tone is now 80' prelatic, and as our than the usual practice. Though con orders even are denied by many, we sidered by many as an extreme at the should be very chary lest we demean time it was drawn up, and most likely by ourselves. In spite of their own canons, the Scotch commissioners who had pre. | in which the Church of Scotland is recog. viously been accustomed to a liturgy, we nised as a true branch of Christ's Catholic are now far beyond it. It is singular to Church, in spite of the fact that their notice the departures from it, and how bishops sat at the feet of the continental decidedly they all are in the direction of Reformers, many of them are apxious to disorder. It prescribes prayer as the first make a difference, and we should heartily exercise in public worship, the reading of assent to it. two chapters of the Scriptures at every We heard the other day of an English diet, the use of the Lord's prayer. It en minister having got the loan of a French joins literal fasting, the celebration of Protestant Pastor's Church in France, marriage in church, and the causing and, having established bimself in the of the parties to repeat the vows after the pulpit, he took occasion to tell the French minister, &c., &c.

Protestants, that his was a very different As we bave already said, the attempt religion froni theirs; that, in fact, he was is frequently made by Scotch ministers much nearer the Roman Catholics than in England and elsewhere, to carry out them. While we rejoice to recognise as partially these provisions, because the brethren the Protestants of the Church of presence of other religious bodies makes England, let us heartily consent to a difit necessary to do things with something ference wherever a Romanistic spirit is of decorum and good taste, but at home manifested. If their Rock is not our it is a dead letter. There can be no Rock, equally true is it that our Rock is doubt, that it is very unsatisfactory for not their Rock. And taking our stand a church to be in this state. The upon heart-regeneration versus the sacraDirectory ought, certainly, to be re- mental system, upon the religion of vised, and the Church can do this at any character versus the religion of form, time, as it forms po part of the compact upon protestantism versus popery, with the State. It was once approved by whether full-blown or in its undeveloped the Scottish Estates, but at the revolu. form, we have no reason to fear. tion they had not patience to listen to 1 2. Make every effort to improve the all the documents, so the Church had to taste and order of the public services of be contented with having the Confession religion. If we look at nature around of Faith and the Catecbisms sanctioned us we see that order and beauty characby civil authority.

terise all the works of God. "He bath We shall conclude this article with made everything beautiful in his time." two advices to young clergymen.

He loves the beautiful, and it is therefore

agreeable to Him that the services of His ! house be all gone through in a comely

PLEASING GOD. and reverent manner. Oh that Scotland "I do always those things that please Him." would learn wisdom from the words of

Jous viii. 29. her greatest living poet, and one too who " What a glorious motto for a man,loves both her and her church, as we live for God!


It is religion's truest dewish they were loved by all her song. finition; it is the essence of angelic bliss “Scotland, with all thy worth irreverent thou

- the motive-principle of angelic action: In solemn things irreverent; reverent less 'Ye ministers of His, that do His pleaOf beauty, loving not the beautiful ! Yes, tell it to her shame, no statue fair

sure.' The Lord of angels knew no higher, For admiration placed in open view,

no other motive. It was, during His inNo monumental work, but her rude sons

carnation, the regulator and directory of Deface it forthwith : France or Italy Knows no such savagery, nor any land,

His daily being; it supported Him amid What can it mean? Is it our soul of seet the depressing sorrows of His woe-worn Which looks on all such beauties of man's art | path; it upheld Him in their awful terAs vanities, not unallied to sin ? Did not God make the rainbow, coarse-grained

mination in the garden and on the cross. soul?

For a moment, sinking human nature His hands did they not, bending, fashion it ? faltered under the load His godhead sugIs that a vanity, is that a sin ? I, Beauty, dwell with Him who made green

tained; but the thought of pleasing God' earth,

nerved and revived him: Not my will, The pictured seasons, and the hosts of heaven." | but Thine be done.

THOMAS AIRD. | It is only when the love of God is shed Rudeness, vulgarity, coarseness, gross- abroad in the heart that this animating ness of taste in the pulpit, are offensive not desire to please Him' can exist. In the only to the refined among men, but to holy bosom of Jesus, that love reigned God above. There is a great call for at paramount, admitting no rival, no comtention to aesthetics in the public services peting affection. Though infinitely infeof religion, as we are entering upon an age rior in degree, it is the same impelling of widely diffused culture and refinement, principle which leads His people still to and while we dislike nothing more in our link enjoyment with His service, and pulpits than an affected fineness or fash- which makes consecration to Him of heart ionableness, we would by all means have and life its own best recompence and rethem free from a disorderliness offensive ward. There is a gravitation,' says one, to propriety and good taste. In youth a whose life was the holy echo of his words, thousand things act upon the mind be. ' in the moral, as in the physical world. sides sterling principle, and there are al. When love to God is habitually in the ways numbers who are largely influenced ascendant, or occupying the place of by the manner of conducting public wor- will, it gathers round it all the other ship. What is more disgusting than to go desires of the soul as satellites, and into a church when the pews are filled with wbirls them along with it in its orbit people of refinement, who are accustomed round the centre of attraction. (Heweverywhere else to order and decency, and itson's Life.) Till the heart, then, be to see in the pulpit, the centre of attrac-changed, the believer cannot have this tion, the cynosure of eyes, the minister testimony that he pleases God.' The of God a coarse vulgarian who should world, self, sin—these be the gods of have remained in the sphere in which the unregenerate soul. And even when he was converted ? Piety and earnesto changed, alas, that there should be so ness make up for great defects; still, a many ebbings and flowings in our tide of clergyman, whether his parishioners be devotedness! Jesus could say,–. I do coalheavers or the elite of a cultivated always those things that please the Facity should always be a gentleman and a ther. Glory to God burned within His man of taste. We know of nothing that bosom like a living fire. Many waters would tend more to improve the cast of could not quench it. His were no fitful the devotional exercises of young clergy- and inconstant frames and feelings, but men than a careful study of these Press the persistent habit of a holy life, which byterian liturgies. As for quotations had the one end in view, from which it from the English Liturgy, which we never diverged or deviated. Let it be so, sometimes hear mingled with Presbyter- in some lowly measure, with us. Let ian prayers, we cannot say that we are God's service be not the mere livery of partial to them; the mixture seems in. bigh days-of set times and seasons; but, congruous, and the dignity and indepen. I like the alabaster box of ointment, let us dence of the Church of this ancient ever be giving forth the fragrant perfume kingdom seem thereby to be more or of lowliness. Even when the shadows of less compromised.

trial are falling around us, let us 'pass

through the cloud,' with the sustaining spirit, is like him that retires into a battle motive,- All my wish, O God, is to to meditate, and sets up his closet in the please and glorify Thee!' By giving or out-quarters of an army, and chooses a taking, by smiting or healing, by the frontier-garrison to be wise in. Anger sweet cup or the bitter,-'Father, glorify is a perfect alienation of the mind from Thy name!' 'I don't want to be weary prayer, and therefore is contrary to that of God's dealings with me,' said Bicker- attention which presents our prayers in steth, on his deathbed; 'I want to glorify a right line to God. For so bave I seen Jesus in them, and to find Him more pre- a lark rising from his bed of grass and cious.' Do I shrink from trials, duties, soaring upwards, singiog as he rises, and Crosses, because involving hardship and hopes to get to heaven, and climb above self-denial, or because frowned on by the the clouds; but the poor bird was beaten world? Let the thought of God's ap- back with the loud sighings of an eastern proving countenance be enough. Let me wind, and his motion made irregular and dread no censure, if conscious of acting inconstant, descending more at every in accordance with His will. Let the breath of the tempest than it could apostle's monitory word determine many recover by the libration and frequent a perplexing path: 'If I please men, I weighing of his wings, till the little am not the servant of Christ.'

creature was forced to sit down and Arm yourselves likewise with the same | pant, and stay till the storm was over, mind,-. The mind of Jesus.'”

and then it made a prosperous flight, and did rise and sing as if it had learned music and motion from an angel as he

passed sometimes through the air about “THE RETURN OF PRAYERS." his ministries here below: 80 is the

prayers of a good man, when his affairs "The first thing that hinders the

have required business, and his business prayer of a good man from obtaining its

was matter of discipline, and his discipline effect is a violent anger,-a violent storm

was to pass upon a sinning person, or had in the spirit of him that prays. For

a design of charity, his duty met with anger sets the house on fire, and all the

the infirmities of a man, and anger was spirits are busy upon trouble, and intend

its instrument, and the instrument bepropulsion, defence, displeasure, or re came stronger than the prime agent, and venge; it is a short madness, and an

raised a tempest, and overruled the man, eternal enemy to discourse, and sober

and then his prayer was broken, and his counsels, and fair conversation; it intends

thoughts were troubled, and his words its own object with all the earnestness of

went up towards a cloud, and his thoughts perception, or activity of design, and a

pulled them back again, and made them quicker motion of a too warm and dis- | without intention; and the good man tempered blood; it is a fever in the heart, I sighs for his infirmity, but must be and a culenture in the head, and a fire in

content to lose that prayer, and he must the face, and a sword in the hand, and a

recover it when his anger is removed fury all over; and therefore can never and his spirit is becalmed, made even as suffer a man to be in a disposition to the brow of Jesus, and smooth like the pray. For prayer is an action, and a state heart of God, and then it ascends to of intercourse and desire exactly contrary |

are exactly contrary heaven upon the wings of the holy dove, to this character of anger. Prayer is an and dwells with God till it returns like action of likeness to the Holy Ghost, the the useful bee, laden with a blessing spirit of gentleness and dove-like simpli- and the dew of heaven.”—Jeremy Taylor. city; an imitation of the Holy Jesus, whose Spirit is meek, up to the greatness

PARTIAL VIBWS. of the biggest example, and a conformity to God whose anger is always just, and

« Every visionary notion in religion marches slowly, and is without transpor

boasts its text or two and can boast no tation, and often bindered, and never

more, but its supporters hold the text or basty, and is full of mercy; prayer is the

two so near their eyes that they hide the peace of our spirit, the stillness of our

rest of the Bible."--Butler. thoughts, the evenness of recollection, the seat of meditation, the rest of our

PERPLEXITY. cares, and the calm of our tempest; "Perplexity in the Scriptural student's prayer is the issue of a quiet mind, of mind is often derived less from St. Paul untroubled thoughts ; it is the daughter than from St. Paul's expositors, whose of charity, and the sister of meekness ; conflict of illustrations produces obscurity, and he that prays to God with an angry, as opticians tell us that interfering waves that is, with a troubled and discomposed of light produce darkness.”—Ibid.

« AnteriorContinuar »