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fore infinite justice itself takes, as it were of himself, an equivalent price, and God the Creator suffers in the flesh, that the flesh of the creature should not suffer for ever. An infinite goodness was offended, and none could intercede but a mediator of infinite power. And what is infinite but God? Therefore God himself reconciled the world unto himself, (2 Cor. v. 19,)—God himself became mediator-God himself redeemed mankind by his own blood, (Acts xx. 28.) Who can conceive the greatness of this mystery? The chief Creator was offended, and the creature sought not with care to appease him, and to be reconciled unto him: so he which was offended assumes the flesh of the creature, and becomes reconciliator. Man had forsaken God and turned away himself unto the devil, the enemy of God; and he that was forsaken makes diligent inquisition after the forsaker, and invites him most bountifully to come again unto him. Man had departed from that infinite good, and fallen into an infinite evil; and that same infinite good, by giving an infinite price of redemption, delivered that creature from infinite evil. Is not this infinite mercy far exceeding all the finite understanding and thought of man? Our nature is become more glorious by Christ than it was dishonoured by Adam's sin. We have received more in Christ than we lost in Adam: where sin did abound, God's grace did superabound (Rom. v. 20.) In Adam we lost our innocency, in Christ we have received perfect righteousness. Let others admire God's power, but his divine mercy is yet more to be admired, although power and mercy in God are equal, for both are infinite. Let others admire our creation, but I had rather admire our redemption, although creation and redemption are both acts of infinite power. It was a great thing to create man, having deserved nothing, for as yet he had no being': but it seems yet to be greater to take upon him to satisfy for the debt of man, and to redeem him when he deserved evil. It was a wonderful thing that our flesh and our bones were formed by God (Gen. xi. 28); but yet it is more wonderful that God would become flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone (Eph. v. 30.) Be thankful, O my soul, unto God, who created thee when thou wast not, who redeemed thee when for sin thou wast condemned, and who hath prepared for thee, if by faith thou adhere unto Christ, the joys of heaven.*
ON THE ORAL DELIVERY OF THE LITURGY.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
MR. EXAMINER-With an humble hope of being useful, I have committed to paper some remarks on the oral delivery of our
* See "Gerard's Meditations and Prayers," Med. xv.-a work written originally in the Latin tongue by John Gerard, D. D. of Heidelburghe, and translated by Ralph Winterton, Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, 1679.
Church Liturgy. Perhaps your veneration for their subject-matter may lead you to give them insertion; if otherwise, you are at liberty to make what extracts you please, or to deliver the whole flammis emendatoribus." My attention has been called to them by an answer which I remember to have received, shortly after my ordination, from a truly-pious Clergyman, who, though not particularly distinguished in the pulpit, is in the desk remarkable for an impressive and affecting manner. Struck with this, I had requested some suggestions as to reading the Liturgy.His reply was, "Do not read, but pray—and pray not only with the spirit, but with the understanding. You must begin by studying and entering fully into the meaning of the petitions you are to offer a reverential consciousness of the presence of the Deity -a contrite and earnest sincerity in His worshipping-these, better than any rhetorical precepts, will do the rest.' The latter qualifications pointed out by my friend, as they admit of no technical comment from me, so do they require to be instilled by a far different Teacher. The first and preparatory step is of another nature, and I hope I shall be pardoned for saying that we seldom hear the service of the Church performed, without some instance of the necessity of calling greater attention to it. The errors of accentuation, and pause, and tone, which have been transmitted from Rector to Curate for many generations, and to which our ears are accustomed, may indeed escape our notice; but, nevertheless, in the person officiating they evince (whether from defect of mind, of study, or of attention,) if not a misunderstanding, at least the want of a clear and full understanding of the words he repeats; while to the careless or unlettered hearer, they most probably communicate, if any, the same incorrect or imperfect meaning.* I trust, then, you will consider that the remarks which follow may be of more utility than merely to please the critical acuteness of a musical ear, and that you will accompany me with in- • dulgence through a short review of the LITANY-a portion of our prayer-book, the public reading of which affords not a few instances of these errors.
In the first place, generally considered, the Litany consists of several and various parts. The first ten sentences are deprecatory of evil; adjuration follows; which is succeeded by supplication for blessing, &c. These, though not divided by the Rubric, are clearly distinguished by the sense. How unmeaning then is it to recite them without either pause or change of tone-to utter the Kyrie Elieson' without a spark of that fervour which should express the spiritual wrestling with God-to pronounce the words Let us pray, with no indication of voice or manner that they are an invitation to the people, not an address to the Deity.
To view the petitions separately in the first I pass over the
* From this last consideration, I cannot fully agree with the poet Cowper in his censure of Sheridan, though I am far from approving many of the Doctor's readings. It is bad enough to have some labouring "to give to prayer the adagio and the andante it demands," but it is worse to witness one of those "heads who cannot teach and will not learn," drawling or hurrying through our beautiful Liturgy, cold, monotonous, unimpressive, and often as ill understood by others as by himself.
Hebraism, Father of heaven,' to recommend here the violation of a general rule, elsewhere often not so strictly attended to as it should be, namely, that pronouns should not be accentuated, except in case of antithesis. Here we find one of the few exceptions allowable,* "have mercy upon us, miserable sinners." Who that repeats this petition, but must feel that the stress laid on the word 'us' brings more home to him the remembrance that he himself is individually comprehended—the consciousness that he himself is a miserable sinner.'
On looking into the next verse, we observe that it is divided into two parts: the second, as in the Psalms, the counterpart to the first, and each containing a corresponding antithesis: 1. Remember not our OFFENCES.
The words marked by capital letters we often hear accentuated, and as it appears to me erroneously. I should prefer laying the accent on those distinguished by Italics; and this distinction I have preserved throughout the whole of this paper.
Another instance of antithesis overlooked (here the antithesis is of agreement, and less complicated than the last,) occurs in the fifteenth verse.
1. The true worshipping of Thee,
2. Righteousness and holiness of life.
These are often read as though the second clause, which is opposed to and explanatory of the first, were totally unconnected with it.
The next error in conception of the meaning, perceivable from the manner of reading, proceeds from the reader not observing that there is any logical arrangement in the subjects of petition. He utters them as distinct and having no reference to each other, whereas, generally, they may be classed under genus and species. The usual order in each verse is to give one or more genera, and under each to place some of the principal species, including the remainder by the word "all," which therefore ought to be accentuated. But this will be more evident by arranging each verse according to the logical division, making the same use as above of the Italics and capitals.
There is another exception, which seems to me of peculiar importance, in the Communion Service. In the act of administering the elements, I have perceived a visible emotion excited in the communicant by the words, Take, and eat this, in remembrance that Christ died for THEE.
Verse 30.-All that are desolate ( The fatherless children,
There further occur to me some other errors of pause and accentuation, which do not come under either of the preceding heads. The dotted lines mark the place where readers generally, and I think incorrectly, pause; the plain lines distinguish the amendment I would suggest on this point.
Verse 8." All the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil.”
Ver. 29.-" All WOMEN* labouring with child.”
Ver. 32.-"To forgive OUR ENEMIES, PERSECUTORS, and SLANDERERS, and to turn their hearts."
Ver. 33.-"To give [to our use] and preserve TO OUR USE."
In the prayer,
O God, merciful Father," &c.
"Those evils which the craft and subtilty of the devil or man worketh against us.''
In the next prayer,
"We humbly beseech thee, O Father, mercifully to look [i. e. to look with mercy] upon our infirmities."
And again, in the same,
"That, in all our troubles, we may," &c. "and evermore serve Thee," &c.
Lastly, in the prayer of St. Chrysostom,
"Almighty God, who has given us grace at this time | with one accord to make our common supplications unto THEE; and [who] dost promise," &c.-" fulfil now, O Lord," &c.
After reciting the gracious promise, as given in general to the Church, its fulfilment is claimed in the present instance, and for the present congregation, fulfil now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants."
Here, Mr. Examiner, I close my remarks on the Litany. But that I fear having already exceeded your patience, I could take abundant occasion for similar strictures from other parts of our Book of Common Prayer. Should you dissent from any of these, you have only to "turn your style;" should you think some of them obvious, you must remember that they are called forth by existing errors; should you object that others are trifling, I an. swer, to me they are not so, for they have led me to a more intimate acquaintance with one of the finest parts of that Liturgy,
*This reading is almost ludicrous, yet it is frequently to be heard; and still more frequently another similar, in pronouncing the word MANkind with the first sylla ble accentuated, instead of the last, as if to distinguish between the sexes.
which throughout "is glorious, whose clothing is of wrought gold;" and on others they may have the same effect.
But perhaps I am deceiving myself with a too favourable opinion of my own production, in imagining, that though you may condemn parts, you will not disapprove of the whole. Perhaps you will include all in one general censure, as too merely technical for insertion among your religious communications, too dry for your miscellany, and with reference to a subject on which criticism is inadmissible. Still I must be allowed to reply in my defence the strictures directed against the reading of the Liturgy, in no degree attach to the Liturgy itself; while any effort, however humble, in its cause, though not directly in a religious point of view, must have an interest for religious minds. On the other hand, the technicality to which you object, gives at least a claim to be considered critical. And lastly, admitting the charge of dryness, the appearance of one dull article in the third department of your Magazine is necessary to constitute that perfectly miscellaneous.
If you are like the rest of authors and of men, I cannot find a better opportunity to conclude, than after this little piece of flattery, so will add nothing further than that
I remain, Mr. Examiner,
Your obedient servant and well-wisher,
THE IRISH BIBLE.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER,
SIR-The misrepresentations which have appeared in a late number of the Quarterly Review, of some of the versions and editions of the Holy Scriptures that have been put forth by the British and Foreign Bible Society, compel me to address this paper to you. The vast importance to mankind of that Society's operations calls upon every one to take his place in defending them, where they are correct; and my opportunities of information respecting that version in which Irishmen are principally interested, makes it to be my particular duty to answer that call.
The "facts" which have been stated by T. P. Platt, Esq. respecting the version and last edition of the New Testament in Irish, are satisfactory as far as they go; but, judging from the inquiries of Christian friends in Great Britain made to me, as Secretary of the Irish Society, and excited chiefly by the article alluded to, I feel that the public require something more, which I shall endeavour to afford, by a short history-1st, of the existing translations of the Old and New Testament into the Irish tongue; and, 2dly, of the several editions which they have each of them gone through, or