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FORMS OF PRAYER AGAINST PESTI
Dr. Brewster quotes his paraphrase Letter, I think, satisfactorily, that of the passage, which Bishop Horsley the verse possesses the same irresays is a “ model of that sort of pa- fragable marks of genuineness which raphrase by which any given sense authenticate the whole Epistle. may be affixed to any given words." Dr. Brewster says, that the Of the justice of this character of Dissertation has had the effect of the paraphrase, the reader may form causing Sir Isaac Newton to be resome judgment from the following garded as an Antitrinitarian ;-an paraphrase of the words, “This is he effect, unjust for many reasons; inthat came by water and blood :” jurious to the memory of our great “This is he that, after the Jews had philosopher ; dangerous to the faith long expected him, came, first in a of readers who are unacquainted mortal body by baptism of water, and with his other writings, by that then in an immortal one, by shedding influence on public opinion which his blood on the cross, and rising Socinians and Unitarians are now from the dead.”
industriously promoting; and thereDr. Brewster concludes his state- fore, on all accounts, conclusive ment, by saying: “As this learned against the revival of opinions which Dissertation had the effect of depri- this author had deliberately supving the defenders of the doctrine of pressed. the Trinity of two leading texts (1 John v. 7; 1 Tim. iii. 16), Sir Isaac Newton has been regarded as an Antitrinitarian.” The Dissertation having been suppressed by its
For the Christian Observer. author, and not published till the year 1754, could have had no effect We mentioned in our last Number for more than half a century after it that the two prayers lately issued are was written. Nor could the de- taken, with alterations and abridgfenders of the doctrine of the Trinity ments, from two collects in the form be said to have been deprived of a of prayer and fasting set forth in the verse which was claimed and de- years 1720 and 1721, during Archfended during Sir Isaac's lifetime, by bishop Wake's presidency. We Smith in 1690, by Ittigius in the have thought that it would not same year, Kettner in 1697, by be uninteresting to our readers to Bishop Bull and Grabe in 1703, collate the respective compositions, Mill in 1707, Maius 1708, Mesnard which we subjoin. 1709, Pfaffius 1709, by Kettner
Prayers of 1831. again 1713, Martin in 1717, Calamy 1. “Mostgracious Father and God! in 1722, Bishop Smallbrook in 1722, who hast promised forgiveness of and A. Taylor in 1727. Sir Isaac sins to all those that with hearty Newton died in that year. Since repentance and true faith turn unto that period, it may be sufficient, out thee, look down, we beseech thee, of many very learned advocates for from heaven, thy dwelling place, the verse, to mention the names upon us thy unworthy servants, who, of Bengelius, Ernesti, and Bishop under an awful apprehension of thy Horsley. The last-mentioned very judgments, and a deep conviction of learned advocate of the verse says, our sinfulness, prostrate ourselves “ that the omission of the seventh before thee. We acknowledge it to verse breaks the connexion, and be of thy goodness alone that, whilst heightens the obscurity of the Apos- thou hast visited other nations with tle's discourse.” From the internal pestilence, thou hast so long spared evidence of the passage (to which us. Have pity, O Lord! have pity an appeal is made in this observa- on thy people, both here and abroad: tion), I have shewn in the preceding withdraw thy heavy hand from those that are suffering under thy judg- sense of thy amazing judgments, ments, and turn away from us that and their own manifold sins and grievous calamity, against which our provocations, prostrate themselves only security is in thy compassion. before thee. We confess with shame and contri- “ We confess, O Lord, with shame tion, that in the pride and hardness and confusion of face, that we have of our hearts we have shewn ourselves been an incorrigible nation, a sinful unthankful for thy mercies, and have and disobedient people. We have followed our own inclinations, in- resisted thy judgments; we have stead of thy holy laws: yet, О abused thy goodness, and turned thy Merciful Father, suffer not thy de- grace into wantonness. Thou hast stroying angel to lift up his hand called us to the knowledge of thy against us, but keep us as thou hast Gospel, hast delivered us from that heretofore done in health and safety; idolatry and superstition which had and grant that, being warned by the utterly overrun us; and preserved sufferings of others to repent of our thy holy religion among us in the sins, we may be preserved from all truth and purity of it. But we, evil by thy mighty protection, and most unmindful of these thy great enjoy the continuance of thy mercy benefits, have neglected thy comand grace, through the merits of our mandments, have abused the knowonly Mediator and Advocate, Jesus ledge of thy Gospel, have followed Christ. Amen."
our own sinful lusts and passions, 2. “0, Almighty God! who, by and have not served nor worshipped the many instances of mortality which Thee as we ought to have done. 0 encompass us on every side, dost call Lord, to us belong shame and conupon us seriously to consider the fusion of face, because we have sinshortness of our time here upon earth, ned against Thee; but to Thee, our and remindest us that in the midst God, belong mercies and forgiveof life we are in death, so teach us nesses. Oh, shut not up thy lovingto number our days that we may kindness in displeasure; neither be apply our hearts unto wisdom. Give Thou angry with us for ever. Deal us grace to turn unto thee with not with us after our sins, nor retimely repentance, and thus to obtain, ward us according to our iniquities; through the merits of our Saviour, but grant that, being duly humbled that pardon to-day which to-morrow under thy mighty hand, and by thy it may be too late to seek for ; that dreadful judgments upon our neighso being strengthened by thy good bouring nations, brought to a deep Spirit against the terrors of death, sense of our own sins, and to a and daily advancing in godliness, we hearty repentance for them, we may may at all times be ready to give up become fitting objects of thy favour our souls into thy hands, O gracious and forgiveness. Father, in the hope of a blessed im- “ O Lord, thine arrows are gone mortality, through the mediation and abroad; they stick fast in the Aesh for the merits of Jesus Christ our of multitudes round about us. The Lord. Amen.”
pestilence rageth in their streets; it Prayers of 1721.
goeth about seeking whom it may 1. “O most gracious and merciful devour. No strength can stand Lord God, who hast promised for- against it; it threatens to make giveness of sins to all them that whole cities desolate. And should with hearty repentance and true faith thou suffer it to spread unto us, and turn unto thee, look down from bring us to the dust of death; yet heaven thy dwelling-place with thy must we acknowledge that righteous bowels of pity and compassion upon art thou, O Lord, and just are thy the sorrows and dangers of thy judgments. But, O merciful Father, servants, who, under the deepest suffer not thy destroying angel to
come among us. Remove this great hands, as into the hands of a most
their sores: earth that we desire in comparison comfort them that are sick; preserve of Thee. Grant, O merciful God, them that are well. Receive them that that we may never be separated die, to thy mercy; and grant that from Thee ; but that while we live both they and we, whether in life we may have our conversation in or death, may be made partakers of heaven; walking by faith, not by thy heavenly blessings. Keep us sight; that when we die we may be whom thou hast hitherto preserved received into thy heavenly habitafrom this contagious distemper, in tions; and with all thy saints and health and safety. Thou killest and servants, who have gone before us makest alive; Thou bringest down in thy faith and fear, may ever praise to the grave, and raisest up again: and glorify thy holy name, through O let us live, and we will praise thy Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." name, and thy judgments shall teach We might copy from this service us! Hear us, O Lord, for thy mer- of 1721, other prayers, some original, cies' sake, and deliver us from those some altered from forms in earlier evils which our sins have most justly services on similar occasions; but as deserved, through the alone merits we propose, in our Appendix puband intercession of thy dear Son, lished with the present Number, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” copying a few of these from the do
2. “O Almighty God, to whom cuments of the preceding century, alone belong the issues of life and we forbear proceeding further at death, who by the manifold instances present with the subject. May He of mortality which encompass us on who is the inditer as well as the every side, dost call upon us seri. hearer and answerer of prayer, be ously to consider, and to prepare for pleased to listen from heaven, his our own departure; give us grace, dwelling-place, to the supplications we beseech Thee, to hasten, and not of his people, and grant us deliverto delay the time, to fit ourselves for ance, if it be his will, from the great thy favour and acceptance *. Teach calamity which impends over us; or us so to number our days, that we should Hein infinite wisdom cause the may apply our hearts unto wisdom. scourge to fall, may Heendue us with Make us duly to consider how short strength and patience to endure his our time is, and that there is no re- fatherly chastisement; may He render pentance in the
whither it subservient to our spiritual benefit, going. O Lord, we know not what and at length bring us out of the may be to-morrow ; grant us there- furnace, like gold purified seven times fore grace to seek, and to secure in the fire. that pardon to-day which we may otherwise never obtain to all eternity.
'And, being thus prepared for our LETTER FROM MR. DRUMMOND, AND last end, fortify our minds against the fear of death. Grant that we may not be terrified, as those who We insert, according to our promise, have no hope, at the apprehension the following letter received by us of it; but may be ready, and even from Mr. Drummond. As the writer desirous to depart out of this world, thinks it necessary for his own vinand to give up our souls into thy dication, we do not choose to incur
* The prayer of 1831 avoids this doc- the hazard of injustice by excluding trinal incorrectness.
it; but any reply to its arguments
REMARKS UPON IT.
[Dec. or rather assertions, we think wholly fester, and Ruler over this globe primasuperfluous, especially after all that rily, and secondarily over the whole has appeared in our columns on the creation. The subordinates to this subject. We leave our readers to are declarations concerning the predecide upon the matter for them- sent state of mankind, and the meselves.
thods by which sinful men may beTo the Editor of the Christian Observer. and dominion, under the Head Ma
come partakers of this manifestation You have thought fit to drag my nifester and Ruler. And I must name, and supposed opinions on necessarily consider all who deny prophecy, which you have little this to be the main subject of the means of knowing, before your Bible, to be sceptics in the principal readers, in a manner somewhat un- fact and matter of revelation. called for. This is not, however, It is beside the point to rejoin, a very deadly offence; and it shall that many sincerely pious persons be gladly pardoned if you will allow have gone to heaven who never a place in your columns to this letter. understood the subject as above
It is true, that, notwithstanding enunciated. Salvation does not dethe greatest personal regard, and pend upon logical precision, but even affection for those persons of upon a heart and mind at one with repute in the Evangelical world the will of God; and a heart which with whom I have had the pleasure is conformed to as much of God's to become acquainted, I perceive that purpose as is known, possesses all they are sceptical in the greater part the qualifications for joying in the of what the Bible contains. I do manifestations of God which a renot deny that they believe many deemed creature can possess; while things which are mentioned in the a heart which is in love with a Bible, and which are also mentioned system that is not of God but is the elsewhere ; that is, such as are men- invention of man, although containtioned in the catechisms, books, and ing some fragments of God's truth systems, most in fashion at the pre- in it, and which testifies distaste of sent time; but all that the Bible con- God's unadulterated system when tains which is not mentioned in these laid before it, is at enmity with God authorities, they either think of little and can never stand in God's preimportance, or resolutely deny, by ex- sence. It is one thing to be partially plaining away the plain import of its ignorant of God, and yet love the plain words. The question is evaded little that is known; and it is another by its being said, “ Do you mean to thing to know something of God put belief in the personal reign of which is loved along with the error Christ as essential to salvation as mixed with it, and hate to have that belief in justification by faith?” I error removed. answer, that salvation does not de
“ But what proof pend upon belief of a certain number do you bring to shew that such is of propositions. If you, sir, tell me the case with the majority of the two facts; one of which, being con- evangelical clergy; and what is the firmed also by others, I believe, and practical difference between you and the other wanting such confirmation them?” The proof is easily drawn I doubt; I do not really believe the from their books; but if I particularise former upon your testimony at all, any one, the question assumes a perhowever I may deceive myself and sonal aspect, and the individuals compliment you by expressions of selected are made scape-goats for confidence in your veracity. the class; and since neither you
The one grand subject of the Bible nor they deny that they differ from is the setting up of the God-man, the me, the proof may be pretermitted. Creator and the creature united in one The practical effect of that difference indissoluble Person, as God's Mani. is immense. The first duty of the
You may say,
church is to be a faithful witness for Christians going to heaven ; with a