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ÉROM THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
Psalm lxxxiv. 3. YEA, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for her.
self, where she may lay her young ; even thine altars, O Lord of Hosts, my king and my God.'
THE pious and learned Bishop Horne observes on this page sage, that the psalmist is generally supposed to lament his unhappiness in being deprived of all access to the tabernacle, or temple, a privilege enjoyed even by the birds, who were allowed to build their nests in the neighborhood of the sanctuary."
The authority of this worthy prelate stands exceedingly high in my estimation'; but here I apprehend his judgment has failed, and the text remains as obscure as ever. It is an assumption, without the adduction of evidence, that birds were allowed to build their nests even in the neighborhood of the sanctuary. But the translation goes so far as to admit them even to the very altars of God's house, for the purpose of building their nests: This, however, is hardly possible ; for the altar of incense was too sacred and reserved to permit such a profanation; and as to the altars of burnt-offering, the birds could not enjoy any repose there, owing to the continued services of the priests.
It is true, that in some representations of Egyptian sacrificatoties which have come down to us, the Ibis is introduced on the steps of the altar; but this bird was domesticated and held sacred by the Egyptians, and it obtains an honorable place among theit most venerated symbols.
This, however, does not apply to the Israelites, who do not ap; pear to have held any particular animals in religious respect. And we know, besides, that a leading point in their ritual was, a due reverence to the interior of the tabernacle and temple.
The psalmist is, as bishop Horne observes, feelingly deploring bis exiled state from the house of his God; and in expressing the longings of his heart after the holy sanctuary, he has recourse to the strong and appropriate illustration of the known affection of birds to their young. His language is this : “ As the sparrow findeth her house, after all her wanderings, and the swallow (or rather the ring-dove or wild pigeon] her nest where she laid her young; 80 should I find thine aliars, O Lord of Hosts, my King and my God.”
JOEL ii. 3. The land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a
desolate wilderness ; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
This, and much more in the same prophecy, is a wonderfully exact description of the locusts and their ravages. Jerome, who resided a considerable time in Palestine, and had abundant oppor
tunities of observing the desolation committed by them, says, that
they fly in such order, that every one keeps his place, like the squares in a pavement, and doth not deviate from it, if I may so speak, so much as a point."
A modern traveller belonging to a nation whose character and exploits bear a very near analogy to those scourges of the east, gives the following account:-Having described the kamsin wind, or hurricane of Egypt, he says, “ Two days after this disaster, we were told that the plain was covered with birds, which were passing from east to west, like the close files of an army; and, indeed, we saw at a distance the fields appear to move, like a broad torrent flowing through the country. Thinking that they might be some foreign birds, we hastened out to meet them; but instead of birds, we saw a cloud of locusts, who just skimmed the soil, stopping at each blade of grass to devour it, then flying off for new food. If it had been the season in which the corn was young and tender, this would have been a serious plague ; for these children of the desert are as lean, as active, and as vigorous, as the Bedouin Arabs.”Denon's Travels in Egypt, vol. iii. p. 230.
FROM THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
To the Editor of the Orthodox Churchman's Magazine, SIR,
I consider that part of your valuable miscellany which you allot to extracts as very useful and interesting, The extracts are selected with much judgment, and calculated to afford entertainment, combined with instruction. I trust that the paper which I now communicate will appear well worthy of a place in that department of your work, when I acquaint you that it is from the pen of the venerable Dr. George Hickes, (a name ever dear to all orthodox churchmen) whose autograph now lies before me. The subject is of importance, particularly at the present day, when the principles of Church unity seem to be so little understood, and men seems to enter into composition with their consciences for frequenting the Conventicle, by occasionally Attending their Parish church. With the best wishes for the success of your work, I am, Sir, Your obedient servant,
S. L. London, June 14, 1806. P. S. The following paper was written as a letter to one of his parishoners, when Dr. Hickes was Vicar of Allhallows, Barking. I have not noticed the abbreviations of particular words, or the peculiarities of the orthography, but in dl other points have transcribed it with the most scrupulous accuracy.
Some propositions concerning Separation, &c. seriously lendered by a
Minister to the consideration of one of his parishioners, who lived in full communion with the church by law established, and with those who separate from it in congregational mectings. SIR,
I HAVE here sent you the chief propositions of some discourses we accidentally had together upon several heads relating to the church by law established in this nation, and the separate congregational meetings. You desired me to put them in writing, that you might thereby be better enabled to consider them; and that you may not have any doubt of my sincerity in this performance, I here call God to witness that I have taken great care to write nothing but what I am persuaded is true, and the truth of which I think I am able to prove to any serious, patient and honest enquirer into truth. To my pains in writing so much purely for your sake, I shall add my hearty prayers that God would enable you impartially to consider what I have here written; and I beseech you also before you read the paper, heartily to beg of him, that it would please him to help you to prepare your mind for the reading of it by removing all prejudice and partiality that may in any degree hinder you from discovering or embracing the truth. I commit you to his guidance and protection, and remain Your faithful friend and servant in Jesus Christ.
I. OF SEPARATION. 1. All separation from a national established church, that is not necessary, is causeless and unjust.
2. And all causeless and unjust separation is sinful, viz. that very sin of schism which is so destructive to the common peace and unity which ought to be among christians, and by which the church is preserved.
3. Sometimes the secular power hath tolerated, and sometimes it hath established schism, but no civil toleration or establishment can alter the sinful nature of schism.
4. The Church of England is a national established Church, consisting of two provincial churches, as those provincial churches consist of many diocesan churches; and whosoever lives in the communion of the church of England doth thereby declare that there is no necessity of separation. Otherwise thus: Whosoever lives in the communion of the church of England doth approve and, as much as in him lies, justify her communion; and whosoever lives in the communion of the separate meetings, doth approve and thereby justify their separation, as much as in him lies, from her communion; and therefore, whosoever lives in the communion of both, acts inconsistently with himself, condemning what he approves and justifies, and approving what he condemns.
5. Toleration generally supposes an evil ; and so the present toleration of the congregational meetings supposes, as I conceive, that the government which formerly punished them, yet thinks them an evil, it being apparently the intention of the act for toleration not to encourage those who can go to church to go to meetings, but to give impunity to those who in conscience are persuaded it is not lawful to go to church.
II. OF IMPOSITION OF INDIFFERENT THINGS. 1. The imposition of indifferent things in religious worship cannot of itself be evil. 1. Because God imposed many indifferent things in the worship of the Jewish church : and, 2. Because the matters of the pure positive precepts of the christian religion, before they were commanded by Christ and his Apostles, as baptism by water, eating bread and wine together as symbols of Christ's body and blood in remembrance of his death and passion, the obser
yation of the Lord's Day, imposition of hands in ordination, &c. were indifferent. And therefore,
2. It cannot be unlawful for men who are our lawful superiors to impose upon us, for order, decency, and discipline's sake, the observation of indifferent things, unless it can be shown that Christ or his Apostles have restrained the governors of the church from imposing any other indifferent thing which they have not imposed. But this cannot be shown, and therefore the governors of the church have power to impose things indifferent upon their spiritual subjects for the aforesaid ends, things indifferent being the proper matter of their commands as they are distinguished from the commandments of God.
3. Things indifferent enjoined by any lawful authority ought to be observed by those who are subject to it, because whatsoever they might have done before it was commanded, becomes their duty to do wben it is commanded by lawful authority of any sort. As for example: If it be indifferent whether I pray to God within or without book, then if I pray to God in my family by book-prayer, my children and servants are bound to join with me in family duty by book-prayer. If I will have the creed to be repeated at morning and evening service of my family, they are bound to repeat it; if I will have them stand when they repeat it, then they are bound to repeat it standing. If I will have them put off their working hab its and put on more decent clothes when they come to family prayer, they are bound to do so, &c. And what obedience is to be ren. dered by children and servants to their superiors of a family, is to be rendered by a people of any nation to the superiors or spiritual magistrates of a national church.
III. OF PRAYER. 1. To pray by the spirit, as to sing by the spirit, in 1. Cor. xiv. signifies to pray and sing by inspiration in an unknown tongue.Also in Rom. viii. 26, where it is said, that the spirit helpeth our infirmities, and that the spirit maketh intercession with groanings, &c. By the spirit there is to be understood the inspired man or orator ; for then in the infancy of the church, as men preached and expounded the old testament, and uttered hymns, so they prayed publicly by inspiration ; but those inspirations ceased as the church learned what to preach, and how to expound, and for what, and how, and to whom to pray. Those first inspired preachers and psalmists and orators were to the church christian, as Bezaleel and Aholiab were to the sanctuary when God first directed the making of it. There were none among the children of Israel, who till then had been shepherds, that had any skill in engraving, embroidering, carving, casting, and any other cunning workmanship, that was necessary for the sanctuary, and the holy vessels and garments; and therefore, God, to supply that defect among them, inspired Bezaleel, Aholiab, and many more, with wisdom and understanding how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, as you may read, Exod. xxxi. 1, xxxvi. 1, xxxviii. 22, 23. But then in after ages men that had learned these arts from those who had learned them from the first inspired men, wrought for the tabernacle
and the temple without inspiration, and wrought every thing as well and in a manner as acceptable to God as those who were at first inspired; and for brevity sake, I leave you to make the application.
2. There are several sorts of Prayer, and one common part of all sorts of prayer, viz. Invocation.
3. The sorts of prayer are V. Confession of sins and begging pardon for them: Petition for mercies and blessings we stand in need of, which when it is for others, is called intercession: Deprecation of God's anger and judgments : Thanksgiving for blessings received ; and praising God for the infinite excellencies of his nature.
4. A prayer is longer or shorter, as it consists of more or fewer, longer or shorter parts of prayer.
5. It is easy to make a mere scheme or enumeration of heads of prayer of half an hour long, and by consequence for a man of good memory and confidence to make one prayer two or three hours long upon those heads, if he have bodily strength to speak so long.
6. It is indifferent whether we pray unto God in one long, or ma. ny shorter prayers, or in prescribed forms of prayer, or forms not prescribed, as extemporary prayers re to the hearers.
7. But in what manner soever we pray, we ought to invoke God with hearty reverence, to confess our sins with hearty shame and sorrow, and to beg pardon for them with hearty and earnest desires. With the same hearty and earnest desires ought we to petition him for all mercies and blessings for ourselves and others, and deprecate his anger and judgments. In like manner ought we to give him thanks with hearty thankfulness, and praise him with an hearty admiration of the infinite excellencies of his nature. And whosoever prays to God in all or any of the aforesaid parts or sorts of prayer, with those hearty affections and dispositions that are respeciively due unto them, be it in his own or other men's words, in forms prescribed, or forms not prescribed, in forms read, or in forms spoken without reading, in one continued, or many distinct prayers, he prays in a manner acceptable to God, and according to the rules of worshipping God delivered in his word.
8. He may also be said to pray by the spirit, because the spirit of God helps us to prepare our minds for prayer by working in us an hearty and devout desire to pray, together with those hearty dispositions and affections which belong to the several parts and sorts of prayer; and this is all which the spirit of God hath for many ages ordinarily done for men in prayer.
9. If men are not affected with prescribed forms of prayer, it is because they have not minds prepared for prayer, or because they do not attend to them, or else because they come with prejudice to them : for other christians, eminent both for knowledge and piety, are much affected with them, as is visible in our churches, where godly men and women of all ranks may be seen most fervent in their devotions, and offering up their common prayers with sighs
I have known several dissenters most passionately affected with the church prayers upon their sick and death beds, when sickness made them truly devout, and helped to purge their