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But who is the “faithful and true pastor,” whom we distinguish from “false Apostles ?" He is one who • first takes heed to himself,” (1 Tim. iv. 16) and is careful to have a work of Divine grace begun and carried on in his own heart, “lest that, after having preached to others, he 66 himself should be a castaway.He has himself cordially renounced the world, the flesh and the devil, before he undertakes to require it of others. He has preached to his own heart, before he ato' tempts to preach to the hearts of his fellow-sinë'

He is furnished with those essential qualifications of a Christian minister, self-knowledge and a knowledge of Christ crucified. He has carefully examined his motives in entering on the awful office, and those which engage him to con tinue in it, lest, like Judas, he should sell his Master for silver, or “make merchandize of the “ flock.” He labours to be himself a pattern of humility, of self-denial, of heavenly mindedness, and of every virtue which is necessary to the Christian character. He devotes his time and talents to the appropriate duties of his station; he is instant in season and out of season in preaching, prayer, and administration of the holy sacraments. Personal inspection and private instruction of his flock are not forgotten by him. The young and the sick of his people have their share of his pastoral anxiety and labour. In short, his heart is in his work. He can address his people and say with the Apostle, “I seek not yours but you." The conversion and edification of souls is, next to his own salvation, the grand object of his desires and strenuous exertions. He draws all his studies and cares this way, “that he may both save him. "self and them that hear him.'

When we pray that the church of God, “being “ always preserved from false Apostles, may be « ordered and guided by faithful and true pas“ tors,” we implore that the visible head of the church, in the nomination of those who are to preside therein as her Bishops, may be directed by God's Holy Spirit to the choice of such persons as may fill their elevated stations to the glory of God and the spiritual prosperity of our Zion. We moreover pray that our heavenly Father, “ who hath purchased to Himself an universal “ church by the precious blood of His dear Son, “ would mercifully look upon the same, and so

guide and govern the minds of His servants, " the bishops and pastors of His flock, that they

may lay hands suddenly on no man, but faith

fully and wisely make choice of fit persons to serve in the sacred ministry of His church;" not only investigating the literary and moral qualifications of the candidates that offer themselves for ordination, but more especially their motives, principles and habits, rejecting those whose ends are corrupt, whose doctrines are unsound, and whose habits are unholy, without respect of per

We pray also for all who are "ordained to “ any holy function,” beseeching God to give them “ His grace and heavenly benediction, that : • both by their life and doctrine they may set " forth His glory, and set forward the salvation “ of all men, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Nor do we forget those to whose hands is intrusted the important right of patronage, whether individuals or corporate bodies, but implore for them spiritual wisdom and uprightness, that they may commit the precious treasure of immortal souls to suck men only as will feed them with the true

sons.

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bread of life, without being induced by any motives of relationship, friendship, or personal interest, to prefer to the cure of souls an hireling who careth not for the sheep.

How important is the prayer which the commemoration of St. Matthias suggests for our use ! May the reader feel its importance, and be excited to offer it to the throne of grace with that fervour and importunity which its weighty nature demands! And Oh! that God may hear and answer it, “ through Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen."

THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE BLESSED

: VIRGIN MARY.*

We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts; that as we have known the incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel: so by His cross -and passion we may be brought unto the glory of His resurrection, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THOUGH the title of our present collect re.

fers only to the Virgin-mother of our blessed Lord; yet the collect itself relates wholly to her adorable Son. It records a fact in His bistory;-And founds a prayer on the recognition of that fact.

The fact recorded is the annunciation of our Lord's conception to the Virgin who was to become His mother, by the ministry of an Angel. of this circumstance an account is given by the Evangelist St. Luke, in the first chapter of his gospel

"In the sixth month after Elizabeth (the mo: ther of St. John the Baptist) had conceived, the same angel Gabriel, who had been the messenger of such good news to Zacharias, was sent from God to a small and inconsiderable city of Galilee

* Both this festival and that of the Purification appear to be of comparatively late institution in the Christian church. For the pieces attributed to Chrysostom, Gregory Thaumaturgus, and Athanasius, on which some author's have founded a belief of their antiquity, are rejected by the best critics as spurious writings. See Bingham's Antiquities of the Christian Church, book XX, chap. viii, sect. 4 & 5.

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which was called Nazareth; being charged with an important commission to a Virgin, who was contracted, according to the Jewish method of espousals, to a man whose name was Joseph; a descendant of the royal house of David, which illustrious family was now reduced to so low a condition that Joseph followed the employment of a carpenter. And the Virgin's name was Mary of the same lineage. And the angel entered into the apartment in which she was alone; and standing before her, surrounded with an extraordinary lustre, he addressed himself unto her, and said, Hail, O thou distinguished favourite of Heaven! I congratulate thy happiness; for the Lord is with thee, and is about to manifest His condescending regard in a manner which shall oblige all around thee to acknowledge, that thou art blessed among women, the greatest and happiest of thy sex.

“Now the pious and modest Virgin, when she saw the appearance of the angel, and heard his message, as she plainly perceived it to be something of a very extraordinary nature, was much disturbed at his discourse; and not imagining herself at all worthy of such applause and congratulation, she reasoned with herself for a while, what kind of salutation this could be, and from what original it could proceed,

“And the angel immediately perceiving its to disperse the doubt she was in, said unto her again, Fear not, Mary; for I am a messenger sent from heaven to tell thee that thou hast found signal favour with God. And behold, and observe it with due regard; for I assure thee in His name, that from this very time thou shalt be with child, and at the proper season shalt be delivered of a son, and shalt call His name VOL. III.

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