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A Catechism, that is to say, an Instruction to be learned of every Person, before he be brought to be confirmed by the Bishop.
Since children, in their baptism by their spiritual parents, engage to renounce the devil and all his works, to believe in God and to serve him, it is fit they be taught, so soon as they be able to learn,, what a solemn vow, promise, and profession they have made. Accordingly, after the offices appointed for baptism, follows this Catechism, which is an instruction first taught and instilled into a person, and then repeated upon examination, which sort of examination we frequently meet with in holy writ.
"Are ye able," says our Saviour to James and John, (Matt. xx.) "to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"-They say unto him, "We are able," i. e. We can with courage undergo affliction and persecution. And in St. John, we find him questioning Martha, much after the same manner. "Believest thou this; or, dost thou believe this?"-She saith unto him, "Yea, Lord, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world." And in the Acts of the Apostles, " If thou believest," says Philip to the Eunuch," with all thine heart, thou mayest be baptized."-And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God;" i. e. I believe all the prophecies of the Messiah to be fulfilled in Christ, and consequently that he is the Son of God.
There are some Ministers who choose to examine the youth sent to them, out of the pulpit; for though the time and labour which is spent about preaching, is much more profitably bestowed in catechising; yet the adult part of the congregation, especially the more zealous and precise part of it, who cannot but own that they receive the greatest benefit from it, are found not to attend so constantly, when this duty is performed only from the reading pew.
The Curate of every parish shall diligently, upon Sundays and holidays, after the Second Lesson at Evening Prayer, openly instruct and examine so many children of his parish sent unto him as he shall think convenient.
This order does not oblige Ministers to catechise every Sunday or holiday, but only as often as need requires, according to the number of children sent. In parishes where the inhabitants are very numerous, they may catechise often; otherwise the time of Lent may be sufficient, in imitation of the primitive Church, which had their solemn catechisings during that season.
There are several houses in the country, beside hamlets, that are at a great distance from the Church. If children were to be catechised every Sunday, and the Catechism explained to them as required, those that live so remote from the Church, could not spare time, especially in the winter, from their daily business; but would easily be induced to excuse themselves from attending at so long a service. This duty is performed in the midst of divine service, that the presence of masters and parents might be an encouragement to their servants and children to a diligent performance of their duty therein,
The Order of Confirmation, for Laying on of Hands upon those that are baptized, and come to years of discretion.
This solemn rite is called Confirmation, from the happy effects it has in the strengthening and establishing us in our most holy faith, which faith we are to be able to give an account of before we are admitted to this solemnity. All sureties, therefore, should take care that the persons they are engaged for should be instructed in the nature of their baptismal covenant, in order to be released from the securities they had given. "This Confirmation is a divine and apostolical institution; it is a man's owning that debt in person which passed upon him in baptism by representation, and his ratifying the promises of his sureties, by his personal acknowledgment of the obligation. "It is also expressly instituted for the collation of those peculiar gifts and assistances of the Spirit, by the imposition of episcopal hands, which the Rubrick represents as requisite to bear him through his Christian course and conflict with comfort and success; for till a person be confirmed, he cannot regularly and ordinarily partake of that high and soul-supporting ordinance, the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. If the high importance of the ordinance itself, and the vast number of persons whom it ought to pass upon, be duly pondered, it will be found next at least to a necessity, if at all short of it, that there should be Episcopal Visitations more than once in three years, if it were only for the sake of Confirmations, especially since the judges of the land think it not too much for them to go to two circuits yearly. And some are apt to think that no less care and labour ought to be employed in carrying on the discipline of the gospel than in dispensing the benefits of the law; for certainly the importance of the former, with those who think men's souls ought to be regarded in the first place, is no ways inferior to that of the latter; at least, many wise and good men of the Clergy, as well as others (who hope they may lawfully wish what they pretend not to prescribe), have thought the proposal not unreasonable."-South's Serm. Vol. V. pp. 35, 36.
It is but too true that there are, as this Reverend Doctor says, too few Confirmations; and when there are any, they are at such few places, that ministers, parents, and sponsors, are willing to lay hold of the opportunity of sending such children, and so many, that the responses are not audibly made, there being very little regularity. And though it is said, Upon the day appointed, all that are then to be confirmed, being placed and standing in order before the Bishop, there very little else but noise and confusion.
At the Restoration, the Rubrick at the end of this order ended thus:
And there shall none be admitted to the Holy Communion, until such time as he can say the Catechism, and be confirmed.
But now it runs much more convenient:
And there shall none be admitted to the Holy Communion until such time as he be confirmed, or be ready and desirous to be confirmed.
The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony. First, the Banns of all that are to be married together, must be published in the Church three several Sundays or Holidays. If the persons live in different parishes, whether they have any legal settlement or not, they are to be asked in both parishes where they then reside: as M. N. of
and O. P. of
By the Canon Law, every traveller is a parishioner the time that he stays in the parish, only he is not liable to be kept by it when he falls into poverty. There was a certain person, who desired to be asked where he had a legal settlement, though he had taken a house, and lived in another parish for a considerable time; but that minister satisfied him at last that he was entirely under the care of the minister where he then dwelt.
The Banns are, for the most part, forbidden before the third time of asking; but we have already observed, they are not to be denied till the persons are marrying.
Their being asked, gives notice to any person, that if he knows any cause he is to declare it; i. e. he is to speak to the minister out of divine service, and let him know that he has a reason to allege when the persons come to be married.
At the day and time appointed, the persons shall come into the body of the Church, and there standing together, the man on the right hand and the woman on the left.
Some have thought that they are so placed, because the woman was taken out of the left side of Adam.
The Priest shall say. Then, at the end of this prefatory exhortation, it runs thus:-Therefore, if any man can shew any just cause why these two persons may not be lawfully joined together, let him Now speak. If any man do THEN allege and declare any impediment why they may not be coupled together in matrimony by God's law, or the laws of this realm, and will be bound, and sufficient sureties with him to the parties, or else put in a caution to the full value of such charges, as the persons to be married do hereby sustain, to prove his allegation; then the solemnization must be deferred.
The impediments are, a preceding marriage; precontract; consanguinity or affinity; want of the consent of parents or guardians, if under age (widows excepted); natural incapacity of body, in either
If no impediment be alleged, then shall the Curate say unto the man. Then shall the Minister say, Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?
The Minister receiving the woman at her father's or friend's hands.
The foundation of this seems to be a care for the female sex, who are always supposed to be under the tuition of a father or a guardian; and as it often happens that they are left to the care of a mother, or some female relation, it has been seen that they have been given away by them.
And the Priest taking the ring, shall deliver it unto the man, to put it upon the fourth finger of the woman's left hand.
In which it has been said that there is a vein that comes from the heart, and which folds itself with other veins there.
Then the man leaving the ring, &c. They shall both kneel down, and the Minister shall say.
N. B. Neither in this solemnization form, nor in the order for the burial of the dead, nor in the thanksgiving of women after childbirth, does the Minister kneel down at all.
Then the Minister or Clerks going to the Lord's Table, shall say or sing this Psalm following.
Or this Psalm.
It is done alternately, let it be which it will; but the last is the most proper psalm to be used, whenever the prayer is omitted, where the woman is past child-bearing.
It is convenient that the new married persons should receive the Holy Communion, at the time of their marriage, or at the first opportunity after their marriage.
It is become so mighty fashionable for persons of any figure, not to regard this serious and useful instruction, though in a matter of the last consequence, that they should choose rather to pay for such licences or dispensations as will marry them at any time or in any place. (To be concluded in our next.)
Recommended to Divinity Students, educated at the licensed Grammar Schools in the Diocese of St. David's, and intended to serve as a guide to direct them in their studies both before and after their admission to Holy Orders.
Novum Testamentum Græcum.
Gisborne's Survey of the Christian Re-
Locke on the Understanding.
Grotius de Veritate Rel. Christ. Doddridge on the Evidences of Christianity.
Archbishop Synge's Gentleman's Re-
Horne's Introduction to the Holy
It is almost needless to remark, that Lord Bacon's Advancement of Learning is not recommended to the divinity student as a theological work, although it contains towards the end some admirable observations on the subject of theology, but as a book replete with wisdom, and which, to use the words of an eminent writer, every Christian scholar should have by heart. Lord Bacon afterwards enlarged and composed this work in Latin, and distributed it into nine books. But the Latin is only to be met with in his entire works; at least, I have never met with it printed separately. Locke and Watts, it will be obvious, are recommended, for the purpose of instructing the student in the best method of cultivating the understanding, by guarding him against the errors into which many are betrayed for the want of such guides, and which too often render their labour fruitless; and by pointing out to him certain rules, on a due observance of which the beneficial result of his studies so materially depends.
Clergyman's Instructor, containing Burnet's Pastoral Care, and other Tracts on Ministerial Duties. Bishop Van Mildert's Historical View of the Rise and Progress of Infidelity, with a Refutation of its Argu
Bishop Gibson's Pastoral Letters. Jones on the Canon of the New Testament.
Pritii Introductio ad Lectionem, Nov. Test.
Scott's Christian Life and Works.
Bishop Marsh's comparative View of
the Churches of England and Rome. Clagett's Discourse on the Holy Spirit. Alix's Judgment of the Jewish Church against the Unitarians.
Puller on the Moderation of the Church
Burnet's History of the Reformation.
Spotswood's History of the Church of Scotland.
Wilson's Hebrew Grammar. Masclef's ditto.
Israel Lyon's ditto.
Schroederi Institutiones Ling. Hebr. Robertson's Gramm. Hebr.
Clavis Pentateuchi. Buxtorfii Manuale Hebr. et Chald. Lexicon Hebr. et Chald. Bythneri Lyra Prophetica. Janua Hebr. Ling. Vet. Test. Biblia Hebraica, Simonis. Professor Lee's Hebrew Grammar. Simonis Lexicon Hebraicum.
the following should be added. Potter on Church-government. Jablonski Institutiones Hist. Christianæ.
Collatio Amica de Veritate Rel. Chris-
Dr. Bennett's Works.