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those of Greece and Rome. No thinking man of any creed, and scarcely any Deist denies, that the material creation shews forth the Creator. All must admit, that the sacrifices and the rites of the Tabernacle and Temple service are intended to teach men by visible things something relating to God. But it has been reserved for some Protestants, who are, for the most part, mere intellectual Rationalists, now at the end of the world, to find out, that in the creation there is one peculiar spot which ought to contain nothing visible that can teach any thing to man concerning God. The Christian Church, which was planned by God as His highest act of love and wisdom for the revelation of Himself in the person of His Son by the Holy Ghost, of which all other churches and congregations were models, and to which they were steps, is just that one peculiar spot in the world which the Rationalists have discovered ought not to contain any one thing which can set forth any one form of His actings, or methods of His dealing with men. All the material creation is to manifest Him: mankind at large; man's dress; man’s relationships in this world ; every thing, in short, is, in some way or other, to manifest, shew, set forth, or make God visible, except the Christian Church;
be seen men in it to talk about Him, but nothing to shew Him. Truly such
Protestants are fallen back into greater ignorance of God than was possessed by the antediluvians; and they have spun for themselves a web of Turkish fatalism, which they call Calvinism, so that all their faculties of mind and affection are entangled in its meshes, and the Devil has stolen away all genuine Christianity, except a few intellectual propositions, entirely out of them.
The common sense of the natural man is a safer guide in religion than are Protestants become Rationalists through the baldness, abstractedness, and one-sidedness of Calvinism. Take, for example, the practice in the Church of England, of bowing to the name of Jesus: no one can suppose, that the mere bending of the neck is the fulfilment of the Apostle's injunction; every one must grant, that it is the inward reverence which is inculcated rather than the outward act; common sense tells men that this inward reverence cannot be expressed without the outward act, and, therefore, they rightly perform it: but Protestant Rationalists do not : the Presbyterians and other sectarians do not; and the consequence is, that irreverence in every thing religious and civil is the characteristic of their whole moral being. Consider, again, the feeling of loyalty: no loyal man can be in the presence of the sovereign and remain covered ; no reverent child can be in the presence of parents without paying them attention; and all persons who shew no such outward marks are irreverent people, of which the whole nation of the Americans are an irrefragable proof and illustration. In the army and navy, where the very existence of the lives of every individual depends upon the deference shewn to the officers, the men are obliged to evince some mark of respect every time they meet a superior : all men know that inward feelings cannot be maintained but by outward acts.
One of the emblems which has been most generally adopted in the Christian Church is the four faces of the cherubim as seen by Ezekiel, and it would seem to have been least heeded, and to have excited fewest objections, because it was least understood. The clergy having lost the true meaning, were puzzled to fix another, and there being nothing else which corresponded to the number four, except the four Evangelists, they applied the ox, the eagle, the man, and the lion to them. It was impossible to apply them rightly, any more than the lights, because the foundation of their true application was wanting. These emblems would have been a perpetual witness against the fallen condition of the Church, which the clergy, at Rome at least, are not by any means disposed to admit. After the death of St. John, there was no longer apostleship, which, with prophecy, form the correlative
ministries by which the Lord carries on His Church; nor, for the same reason, the four mi. nistries, by which the Catholic world was to be perfected together in unity. Nevertheless, the lights are emblematic of the two, and the cherubim are emblems of the four ministries, not of four men, which would be contrary to all sound interpretation of symbols; and as the two could not be found without apostleship, neither could the four.
A great number of entire ceremonies, and of trivial details in others, have been added from time to time with a view of impressing the minds of the worshippers with reverence. Perhaps they produced this effect when they were first appointed, but at present it may be safely asserted, that unless there be already a feeling of reverence these trivialities conduce to a very opposite result. The bread for the Holy Communion was required to be made fasting, and a particular service appointed. The repeated bowings, crossings, &c., are all devices for the same end. Whoever pays any attention to the way in which the worship of God is conducted in all assemblies, will perceive how necessary it is for the guides of the people to be careful on this subject. The irreverence during prayer in all Presbyterian and most Dissenting assemblies is perfectly disgusting to every rightlyfeeling mind : the slovenliness of the conduct of canons in Cathedrals is notorious: and it is better to err in the way of inculcating reverence, than suffer irreverence to continue without redress. If a priest in the Roman Catholic Church spill the wine of the Holy Eucharist, he is rightly debarred from administering the Communion for a long time. That great attention is requisite is shewn by observing the awkwardness of country people whenever they come to receive the Sacrament in the parish churches.
It is difficult to judge of the habits of the people in the churches in the middle ages from any thing that is witnessed in these days, but such accounts as may be gathered from incidental remarks in the writings of many fathers, declare conduct such as cannot now be found in any part of Christendom. The Apostle Paul tells us of some people getting intoxicated at the Communion; of their rushing in to help themselves at their love-feasts without reference to others, or to any propriety. He tells us not only of incest being practised, but of being unblamed by the authorities. It is well known that in the time of Chrysostom children scarcely ever attended the Church ; women were rarely permitted to do so, and he rebukes those who did for their habit of painting their cheeks, eyes, and lips, and exhorts their husbands to break them of it by every possible