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the Throne of Grace to the simple prayer of the Publicans) and without which: the most perfect composition is but a collection of evain words, offensive toothe Being to whom it is addressed; is a mixture of humiliation and gratitude, derived from the consideration of our vileness and wretchedness on the one hand, and the contemplation of infinite goodness and castonishing loving-kindness on the other Whoever prays in this disposition oflesoul, most certainly prays by the spirit; because this disposition is not natural, but the effect of that Divine influence, which is graciously employed for the purpose of bringing fallen man back to his Maker. 38org 3 m Planot
aid This devout disposition, the work of the Holy Spirit, is not, it is true, confined to any particular mode of prayer; but, as it confessedly depends more upon the heart than the head, it is more likely to prevail on occasions, when, in consequence of the head being less occupied with attention to the form or invention of the matter of prayer, the heart is more at liberty to be affected by the spirit of it.
A consideration, how little effect soever it may produce in the minds of those who, by their sepaTration from our Church, are not in a condition to appreciate it; must, it is presumed, make every considerate member of it sensible of the advantages he enjoys in the use ofdam liturgy, which, from its excellent construction,juist not only calculated to raise that spirits of devotion essential to all religious exercises, but which is, moreover, im strict comespondence with the word of God, and the platform of primitive practice.
** = 4 -4D TOW separate from us, but rouble to know what our
endent, that their zeal, which er without knowledge, would aily extinguished. For let any
usly disposed, but do justice to
puòrming himself to the several
import; pod bespreed" and in truth; and we dare an<= 4; ~44 ^ sequence. But the misfortune is, it, that none of those out of the pet, sew, alas! of those who are în it, will pole the speriment. And hence it is, that the from violent against her, and the latter so 2265 DAG Jovsb.& ad of the service of preaching, little need be because it is to be considered rather as inge to religious worship, than an actual
and being more the service of the than the congregation, the manner in is performed may, with more latitude, be left dgment and discretion. Provided the doc-* delivered be consonant to the revealed word of and made intelligible to the hearers, the ser of preaching is duly performed; and being stulated to answer its end, all further enquiryTM ut it becomes unnecessary. 36 45709h mới Ist But whilst we are unwilling to say any thing that y tend in any degree to depreciate a powerful cans of grace, as the service of preaching most/ doubtedly is, when properly accompanied, we nevertheless obliged to speak of it as it is; with ho view of preventing a greater effect being expocted from it, than it was designed to produce."
The service of preaching was intended to instruct Christian, professors in their duty as the service of prayer, to procure for them that Divine assistance which can alone enable them to discharge it. Now if the whole of the public performance of religion be in a manner swallowed up in preaching)† it is easy to conceive how the attendants upon it may be hearers of the word, and not doers of it; pose sessing a form of godliness, without knowing any thing of the power of it. For it is as possible for as man to be a diligent attendant upon sermons, and yet manifest nothing of the spirit of Christianity in his life and conversation; as it is impossible for him to be a devout and constant suppliant at the Throne of Grace, and long remain an unsanctified person. Eor God, we are told, will give his Holy Spirit tox them that ask him. But He has no where promised, that He will grant it to those whose religious service consists in hearing only.
It is a remark that has been long since made, that no man who prays, can long continue a sinner, for either his praying will make him leave off sinning, or his sinning will certainly oblige him to leave off praying. To which we will add, that a man may hear sermons all his life-time, and yet becas far from heaven at the end of his stage as when he set out; but let him pray the prayers of our Church, and devoutly attend her sacraments, and we may venture to answer for his salvation, though he should have been so circumstanced, as not to have heard a single sermon during his whole Christian progress.is Should the foregoing ideas be conformable to sound reason, the great danger conséquent upon
hate the present age, which has led so many well-meaning people to comprenent al religious service in that of preaching, will become strikingly andareat.
"It is well known, save Bishop Andrews) that all the time of the primitive Church, the sermon was ever done before the service begun, and that to the sermon, heathen men, infidels, and Jews, heretics, schismatics, in short, all sorts of people, were admitted. But when they went to service, when the Liturgy began, all these were voided; not one of them suffered to stay. It were strange, that should be the only or chief service of God, whereat they, which were heid no servants of God, no part of the Church, might and did remain no less freely than they that were."
Those, therefore, who separate from the Church, if they will give themselves liberty to think upon the subject, will be satisfied, that the only part of religions worship, which they have carried away with them, is the least essential part of her service. And if they will look into the history of the Christian world, they will be convinced, that in proportion as the religious exercise of Christian professors has consisted in hearing more, and praying less, the spirit of Christianity has sensibly declined; and that the only hope of restoring it to any thing like its primitive standard must be derived from the readoption of those means, by which it was originally promoted.
We know, and we are sorry to think, that there are many serious persons, who, from an idea that members of our Church are mere formal lifeless
professors of Christianity, have separated from her communions with the view of joining in what ap pears to them as more spiritual service elsewhere. But though we are not disposed to admit the truth of the reason advanced on this occasion, and are inclined to think that separation from the Church is to be traced up to a very different motive, yet we do not feel ourselves engaged to denter upon this parpof the subject; our present business being to point out the advantages attendant upon commu nion with the Church, not to enlarge upon the Occasional ill use that has been made of them. C
To form a fairt judgment on this head, we must donsider what the service of our Church is in itself, and the spiritual effect which it is calculated to produce; not the little benefit which its formal attendants have actually derived from it. Viewing things in this light, we do not hesitate to say, that the circumstance of the separatist from our Church having his cattention so engrossed with the service of preaching, as it generally is, how excellent soever that preaching may be, throws an additional weight into the scales of disadvantage derivable from his aeparation. In consequence of which he is obliged to take up, for the most part, with an easy hearsay kind of religious service, which is not calculated to procure for him either pardon or blessing at the Throne of Grace;9 whilst the member of the Church or ought to be, engaged in those more severe and more spiritual exercises, which, when properly performed, are the covenanted conditions upon which both are to be obtained. elstil Lemmet grout 945