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may append themselves to the Bible What improvement for the future Society; and what are the best means may be derived from a recollection of of counteracting them?
the past ? Is the present mode of preaching How are we to treat persons under of “ Evangelical ministers” that the diversified form of religious conwhich is best adapted for the con- victions? version and salvation of men ?
What evidences exist in observaThe harmony of privilege and tion and experience of the retributive duty.
government of God ? What are the dangers of a con- Had the Old Testament saints an gregation who have long been ac- explicit knowledge of the Mediator? customed to the preaching of the The source and support of our Gospel?
sanctification. The nature and remedy of spiritual The nature of the Christian Sabpride.
bath, and how it may be best enforced What are the advantages likely on the consciences of Christians. to result from the late anniversary The nature and extent of ministemeetings of religious societies? rial responsibility.
What are the circumstances in Does God's forgiveness of sins exthe preaching of the Gospel which tend to the temporal, as well as to tend to excite general attention, the spiritual state of his people ? and produce in many great present By what marks may we distineffects ?
guish between the mere form and What may be the reason for the power of godliness? permission of so much difference of The importance of a visitation opinion among real Christians upon sermon, and the subjects which the some points of doctrine and discip- times may more especially require. line?
What are the best means of preHow may we most clearly ascer- serving the devout and vital spirit of tain whether love to God be the pre- Christian conversation among real vailing motive of our conduct? Christians ?
What are the reasons of so many The nature and remedy of that falsely tranquil deaths ?
self-righteousness which harasses The uses of the moral law. the minds of good men.
What are we to understand by re- The nature, danger, and remedy joicing in Christ, and what measure of lukewarmness in religion. of this may be considered as neces- The duty of ministers in reference sary to the Christian character ?
to the present time. (1819.) The causes, consequences, and an- The best means of guarding against tidotes of wanderings of the mind in besetting sins. religious duties.
The trials and encouragements of The nature of repentance, and the ministers in foreign countries. place which it holds in the Christian How shall ministers assist in counsystem.
teracting the flood of infidelity at the What conduct shall we hold, on present time? (1819.) their death-beds, towards those whom The doctrine of motives in gewe presume to have been hypo- neral conduct ? crites?
Wherein consists the experimental The nature and sin of rash judg- evidence of the Christian religion? ments of others, and the best means The duty of dedicating the powers of preventing them.
of the understanding as well as the How shall we distinguish between affections of the heart to God. a laudable concern to advance our The beneficial tendency of religion worldly interest and a forbidden to nations and individuals. spirit of enterprize in the pursuits How can we best improve the death of business?
of our revered monarch, George III.?
Having brought down this valu, neither his zeal nor his example will able series of questions to the close bring about the desired reform,--a of the reign of George the Third, we reform, not congenial with the notions think it unnecessary to proceed nearer of the singers, who spend the time of to the present day; but we trust prayer in talking and conning over that what we have transcribed will the tunes, waiting to perform their both interest and instruct our readers, parts to the admiration, not devoand furnish useful materials for medi- tion, of the congregation. tation, social conference, pulpit com
Not so with the "reformed pastor," position, and private self-examination who feels concerned for the due worand prayer. Taken as a whole, we ship of Him to whose “praise and know not any collection of topics glory they profess to sing. Howmore devout, edifying, practical and ever humble may be the means emduly varied. We are persuaded that ployed, though he should select a few the consideration of them was not of his Sunday-school children, led by without profit; that they were dis- the master or mistress, (better still cussed in a spirit of brotherly affec- if by himself,) he finds that his con. tion; of love to God and lively faith gregation will more readily join with in his blessed Son; with ardent de. them, and keep alive in praise that sires for the salvation of men; and devotion which was kindled in prayer much of peace and joy in the Holy and supplication. It may be, that Ghost. Oh! in these days of debate few clergymen are able to lead or and controversy, of delusion and he- superintend the teaching of the chilresy, how goodly a thing is it to be- dren; but those who can, should. It hold brethren dwelling together in is a talent, to whomsoever given, to unity, and mutually striving in love profit withal. In common with all and meekness for the faith of the his family, John Wesley had a great Gospel.
love and taste for music, and we know how successfully he improved this talent in the work of his ministry. It might be desirable that ministers should be instructed in psalmody.
Some of the German clergy re
ceive in their education a certain To the Editor of the Christian Observer. knowledge of both psalmody and doYour correspondent D.D. has shewn mestic medicine. Whatever advanat least one cause that “ hinders our tages such studies may give, how congregations from uniting in the profitable must they be when accom. Pealmody of the Church;" namely, panied with a teaching “from above,” Formalism, or what he calls that “ to sing with the Spirit, and to sing Popish feeling which leaves the mi- with the understanding also,” and by nister, clerk, and the choir to perform the same Spirit blessed with the their respective parts. How often same mind,”that was in Him“who do we see this in some of our coun, went about doing good.”
G. try churches, in which the ministers might do much to correct its benumbing influence.
If, however, it be “as with the people, so with the priest;" the reform must begin with the head, that
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. it may circulate through the members. For so long as a clergyman There was a discussion, if I rememlooks upon the singing as seasonably ber rightly, some years ago in your introduced after the prayers to give publication on “objurgatory preachhim rest, and sets himself down, leav- ing;” permit me to call the attening the singers “ to do their worst;" tion of your readers to another speCHRIST. OBSLRV, App.
ON THE NEGLECT OF CONGREGATIONAL
ON DENUNCIATORY PREACHING.
cies of preaching, which for want of God, think only with terror of the a better epithet I will call “ denuncia- awful portents which from week to tory."
week are forced upon their infant I attend the ministry of a faithful minds. All is gloom and foreboding; servant of Christ; a man full of zeal the nation, the church, Christendom, for the glory of God, and the salva- and the whole world are on the eve tion of his flock : he is also scriptu- of everything that is terrible : ral in his views of the doctrines and scarcely a ray of hope is admitted duties of the Gospel; and, though to penetrate the gloom; even our surrounded with persons who have Bible societies, missionary instituadopted some recently invented or tions, education, the diffusion of revived heresies, yet staunch to the knowledge and civilization, and the good old ways in all the essentials of faithful preaching of the word of God, faith and practice. I will add also, are viewed on the wrong instead of that he is not saturnine in character, the right side, as if intended not for but gentle, amiable, and affectionate; puposes of hope and mercy, but only and yet, in consequence of some to seal down the doom of nations and opinions with which he is strongly to hasten impending wrath. And impressed, relative to a supposd ra- while the ungodly are repelled, and pidly approaching doom, to which the younger members of the flockpoint he is ever bending the pre- terrified, but neither of them drawn dictions of Holy Writ, and every to God, the faithful are deprived of passing cloud in the religious or po- their due consolation ; the righteous litical horizon, his preaching has as- are made sad whom God hath not sumed a character most depressing, made sad; instead of entering his disconsolate, and I fear not edifying. house with thanksgiving, and into There was a time when some attach- his courts with praise, being joyful ed members of his flock, known and in him, and speaking good. of his honoured for all that is lovely and of name, they assemble to hear what good report, rejoicing in God, hea- new horrors our good pastor has venly minded, and occupied with discovered during the week; what bright hopes and a glad heart in new light the cholera, or the reform works of piety and mercy, were bill, or the infidel diffusion of Bibles, wont to come from the house of or Nova-Scotia Gardens, or the prayer with cheerful countenance, burning and sacking of Bristol, casts full of praise and thanksgiving; and upon the Apocalypse and the prothe blessed word was opened, and phecies of Daniel. the family or social group gathered I wish our excellent pastor and around; and truly heavenly was the others would re-consider this matter. spectacle, while the young were I do not mean that there ought not taught and rejoiced to learn, and the to be much of solemnity in their older communed together of the love ministry; for religion is always soof their Redeemer and the prornises lemn, and we live in times which of the Gospel.
call for peculiar solemnity; but let But now, what a mournful reverse! 'it be, if I may so say, a cheerful All is cold, and harsh, and terrifying. solemnity. The ministry which is The ungodly forsake the church; usually found, in the long course being weary of one constant strain of years, to be most blessed by God of prophetic terrors. I do not mean
to the conversion of the young, the the terrors of God's word, but the attraction of the careless to his ways, phantoms, as many of us think them, the reclaiming of backsliders, and of our worthy pastor's own imagi- the edification and comfort of true nation. Thus one chief door of use- believers, is that which partakes fulness is closed. Then, again, the very much of light, and joy, and younger members of families, instead grace, and heavenly unction; that of learning early to love the ways of which shews the ways of religion to " for public
be indeed ways of pleasantness, and particularly for beseeching God and all her paths peace. What is to preserve us from the plague with gained by the prognostications in which several other countries are at which our good pastor so habitu- this time visited.” It pleased God to ally indulges? They may frighten hear and to answer the supplications men or women or children, but when of his servants; and we accordingly thus frightened they are not one find in 1723 a day of prayer and step nearer the cross of Christ : and thanksgiving appointed the practical effect, I fear, has been thanksgiving to Almighty God for quite the contrary; that to shake off preserving his majesty and his subjects the gloom some have forsaken public from that dreadful plague with which worship, where they might, by the the kingdom of France was lately power of the Holy Ghost, have been visited, and for putting an end to drawn to God, while others have the same.” May the precedent be rushed into the world, and thought followed at the present time, and may only of eating, drinking, and being a similar blessing be vouchsafed! merry. Look at the strain of our Many of the state forms of prayer church services;, how full of joy and had been in a good measure adapted, praise, how much of elevated fer- with alterations from time to time, vour and seraphic anthem. She has from former services; but Archbishop indeed one Commination Service, to Wake, or whoever compiled the be used once a year; and a portion, a forms for 1720, 1721, 1723, seems, considerable portion, of commination so far as we can discover, to have is essential to faithful preaching; made several new prayers for these but to make every day a commina- occasions, with an original selection tion day, and every sermon a commi- of appropriate psalms, lessons, and nation sermon, every festival a fast, versicles. We copy as a specimen the eucharist a lamentation, and the two of the thanksgivings which we Lord's-day, that thrice blessed day do not recollect seeing used on any of the resurrection, which the church other occasion, and which we therejoyfully excepts from her days of fore presume to be original. sackcloth, a season only of mourn- 1. “O most righteous God and ing and woe, is, I conceive, contrary merciful Father, who by thy dreadful to the genius of the Gospel, and of plagues and afflictions with which the church, and not conducive to the Thou hast visited other nations, and purposes of a truly spiritual and edi. by thy long-suffering towards us fying ministry.
hast shewed the severity of thy judgments in punishing or trying of them, and the riches of thy mercy in hitherto sparing and forbearing us; we most humbly adore thy goodness, that thou hast been pleased in
judgment toremember mercy towards In our Number for December we them, and to magnify thy favour and transcribed two prayers from the loving-kindness towards us, in preform of prayer issued in December serving us from those dangers to 1720 and repeated in December 1721, which we were exposed, and from from which the two forms recently which nothing but thy special care set forth are altered and abridged. and protection over us could have The form in 1720 and 1721 com- delivered us. O Lord, it is of thy prised a full service for morning and mere favour and compassion that evening worship, aday being specially thou hast rather chosen to glorify thy set apart for fasting and humiliation, mercy insaving us, than tomagnifythy " for obtaining the pardon of our justice in our destruction. Give us, sins and averting those heavy judg- we beseech thee, a due sense of this ments which they have deserved, thy great mercy towards us, and
FORMS OF PRAYER AGAINST PESTI
grant that we may henceforth seri- pestilence. Thou hast preserved our ously endeavour to live as becomes lives from going down into the pit. a people whom the Lord hath re- And to complete thy mercies towards deemed, and saved from death and us, thou hast now removed the cause destruction. Preserve the life, and of our fears and of our danger, and prosper the government of thy servant restored health and safety to the our sovereign, king George: bless countries round about us. the royal family: and grant unto “. What shall we render unto the us all, that we, looking every one Lord, for this great benefit that he of us into the plague of his own hath bestowed upon us? We will heart, may truly repent us of our sing of thy praise, O God, without sins, and unfeignedly turn to thee, ceasing; we will give thanks unto our God, in newness of life; and thee in the great congregation. We both escape the evils we have been will consecrate unto thy service our afraid of, and enjoy the continuance lives which thou hast preserved, and of thy favour and loving-kindness present both our bodies and souls to towards us, through the merits of be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptthy blessed Son, Jesus Christ our able in thy sight, through Jesus Lord. Amen."
Christ our Lord; to whom with thee, 2. “ We laud and magnify thy O Father, and the Holy Ghost, be holy name, 0 most gracious and all honour and praise, now and for merciful Lord God, that thou hast evermore. Amen.” been pleased to hear the prayers of So much for the form of prayer of thy servants, and to regard our souls 1720, 1721, and of thanksgiving of in adversity; and hast delivered us 1723, which we have first adverted to, from the dangers to which we were because from this form of prayer our exposed, and from the evil which recentlyissued prayersare taken. May we feared; and do, with all humility, we speedily, if it be the will of God, acknowledge we had most righte- have occasion to use similar thanksously deserved.
givings.-These forms are of a dif. “We confess, O Lord, with shame ferent type to those of the former and confusion of face, that we are century: they are also the last which not worthy of the least of those occur in our history, it being now mercies which thou hast vouchsafed one hundred and ten years since our unto us. Our sins have cried to happy land has been alarmed with Heaven for vengeance against us; the danger of pestilence, and one and it is of thy great goodness alone hundred and sixty-seven since it that we have not long since been was actually visited with it-namely, consumed in the iniquities that we in the awful calamity of 1665, the have committed. O Lord ! to us year before the great fire of London. belongs nothing but shame and con. In referring to the pestilential fusion of face, because we have re. diseases which have visited this belled against thee. But to thee country, we are not about to write a belong mercy and forgiveness. Thou history of them, or even to attempt hast not dealt with us after our sins, to give a catalogue of them; but nor rewarded us according to our simply to notice some of those forms iniquities. Thou hast saved our life of prayer which have been issued on from destruction, and crowned us occasion of them, since the period with thy favour and loving-kindness. of the Reformation. We shall not, Whilst thousands have fallen in our however, so restrict ourselves as not neighbouring country, and ten thou. to feel at liberty to allude here and sand in their streets, thou hast co. there to any passage of history in vered us under the shadow of thy connexion with the subject which wings, and not suffered the destroy. may appear interesting. ing angel to come into our borders. The following is a curious account Thou hast saved us from the noisome given in Hollinghead's Chronicle, of