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thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, forgive us all that is past, and grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please thee in newness of life, to the honour and glory of thy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord." Thus we pray, and O, may and O, may God grant that may be the prayer of the heart, and may a deep sense of God's goodness to us in Jesus Christ our Saviour abide with us; may the fear of God and the love of God dwell in our hearts; may we address our heavenly Father in the concluding verse of this psalm: "So we thy people, and sheep of thy pasture, will give thee thanks for ever; we will show forth thy praise to all generations. Amen.”
THE COMMANDMENTS, &c., WHY PLACED IN CHURCHES.
[On placing a new copy of the Commandments, Lord's Prayer, and Creed, in Blunham Church.]
EZEK. xliii. 10, 11.
Thou Son of Man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.
IN every act of religious worship, there must be an outward visible sign, accom
panied by an inward and spiritual grace. The same great and almighty Being, who taught the patriarch to set up a pillar, and to pour drink-offerings and oil upon it, directed the Jew in after ages to build his altar of pure earth, instructed Solomon in the building of the first temple, in which the ark was to be deposited,—even that God who had before given to Moses the two tables which were put in the tabernacle; and in the words of my text, the same God is showing to his servant Ezekiel the form and fashion of the second temple, which was now to be built. In all these periods of their history, it is the same Lord God Almighty who is speaking to his church. He who is the sole object of worship, may well direct us in what manner he will be worshipped. "I am the Lord, and there is none else; beside me there is no God."*
I have chosen the words of my text, with a reference to the decency, order, and good government of this sacred edifice in which we assemble to worship God, and particularly as we have replaced the Table of
* Isaiah xliv. 6.
Commandments, Lord's Prayer and Creed. Every thing now seems to be complete. I feel it my duty to tell you why these things are so done:
1. AS TO THE COMMANDMENTS ;
2. THE LORD'S PRAYER; and
3. THE CREED OR BELIEF.
The reason why these commandments are placed in our churches is the same which led the Lord himself to give them to Moses upon Mount Sinai," that the people may read them and do them." They are written plainly, that thay may be taught to children, and to children's children. We, as Christians, hear the great Founder of our religion saying, Not one jot, nor one tittle, shall pass from the law, but all shall be fulfilled. "I came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfil." And we pray, after having repeated these commandments, "Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law."
Lord, have mercy upon us, and write all these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee." There is good reason for everything which we do in our worship. There is a wise promise made, that the worshipper
may know the things in which he is called upon to unite. Indeed, it is a remarkable fact, that in many distant countries our Book of Common Prayer is so highly esteemed, that it is thought to be the very best book to put into the hands of Mahomedan converts, and this too by missionaries and translators, themselves not members of the Church of England. "For the Church of England," says Chillingworth, "I am persuaded that the constant doctrine of it is so pure and orthodox, that whosoever believes in it and lives according to it, undoubtedly he shall be saved; and that there is no error in it which may warrant any man to disturb the peace, or renounce the communion of it." St. Paul exhorts Timothy to be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh him a reason for the hope that is in him, with meekness and fear. And we ought to be ready to tell any man why we do such and such things in the worship of our church, leaving it to every man's conscience to conform or not to conform to our rules and ordinances.
We place, then, the Ten Commandments