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has at length come, is accompanied by the expression at once of an assured belief in the Doctrine of the general resurrection, a charitable, but guarded hope, as to the state of the departed, and a solemn warning to survivers, that only "he who liveth and believeth in Christ shall not die eternally."

In all these services, general or occasional, Christ Jesus is evidently set forth as the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last ; and in our highest act of devotion, when we partake of the food, and join the song of Angels, and hold communion with our Lord himself, and with all his ransoned flock, we still occupy

the same humble position as when we first entered His gates—"we count ourselves not worthy to partake of the crumbs from his table"we acknowledge and bewail our manifold offences."

True, the man who joins in these services will be restrained to Forms of prayer and praise. But why so restrained ? That the substance of these all important truths may never be suffered to evaporate in vague generalities, or be debased in its passage from generation to generation by any mean alloy ; that the lamp of truth may be kept burning, even in the sepulchre of indifference and formality, from whence, we believe assuredly, that God, by His lifegiving word, can reanimate the dead.

And restrained to what forms ? To those inspired by God himself;—to those in which he was approached by his ancient church before the Saviour's advent, with exactly such adaptations of their expressions to gospel circumstances, as we find to have been made in the hymns of the Old Testament, by those who set the first patterns of devotion in the New ;-to those which, (as many who separate from us have acknowledged) savour far less of ease and prosperity than of the prison and the stake;-to the language, wherewith Martyrs and Holy Men, of the highest order, and of every age and clime, have delighted to pour forth their souls to their Father and Redeemer.

I have told you what the worshipper in our National Temples will hear, let me for a moment direct your attention to what he will not hear. For the catholic spirit which pervades our established order of worship, is by no means the least part of its excellence.

He may

He will not hear the language of a party; not the dry distinctions, the jealous watchwords of controversial theology; he will not even hear the peculiarities of our own discipline at all urged on his attention in the ordinary course of our worship. The tests of sentiment on these points are properly applied to those who are to minister in holy things, to those who aspire to stations of influence amongst us: but the plain man who approaches our courts for the purpose of worshipping God, will be met with a studious endeavour, in all the established services, to simplify every doctrine and duty as much as possible to his understanding; to dwell mainly on that in which all true christians are agreed; to touch his heart with grace rather than to store his head with notions; though the judgement is never neglected for the sake of an impression on the passions, nor the authority of revelation compromised, for the sake of accommodating its declarations to the cavils of unsanctified reason. doubt as to the divine origin of episcopacy, as to the best mode of maintaining a standing ministry, as to numberless minute explications of doctrine which have divided the christian world : he will not be startled by a demand for decision on these subjects, but will at once be admitted to partake of the viands which, if he be hungering and thirsting after righteousness, will best satisfy those appetites; the plain food which has ever been the highest dainty to the christian palate ; the sincere milk of the word which will nourish him to life eternal.

Lamentable it is, that in any age, disputes about comparative trifles should have alienated the minds of good men from an institution which dispensed these blessings, and of which in the main they approved; and doubly lamentable, that in our own age, when we have learned to estimate their scruples at no more than their proper worth, the consistency of separation should in any case be sustained, by an outcry against the institution itself.

I have thus far said nothing, as to the personal ministrations of the Parochial Clergy. I have merely spoken or the Church Establishment as a National Institution, providing that in certain stations, more than ten thousand in number, a certain course of instruction, embodying as I believe all the fundamental doctrines of the gospel, and depraving none by any material error, shall be

a

regularly kept up; so that the gospel must be proclaimed, it cannot be hid, even should he who proclaims it to others be himself castaway.*

I deem this security against the failure of gospel light, whatever be the failings of particular teachers, an inestimable blessing, for which my brethren and companions have cause to be thankful under God, to the peculiar mode in which christianity is established amongst them, and which is not to be attained where the use of a liturgy is abandoned.

II.

BUT AM I NOT FURTHER JUSTIFIED IN ASSERTING, THAT

THE ESTABLISHMENT CONFERS AN INESTIMABLE BLESSING UPON THE

PEOPLE, BY THE SETTLEMENT AT THESE SEVERAL STATIONS OF A

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DOCTRINE OF CHRIST ; PROMOTING PEACE AND LOVE AMONGST ALL CHRISTIAN PEOPLE ; AND NEVER CEASING THEIR LABOUR TILL THEY

HAVE DONE ALL THAT IN THEM LIES, TO BRING SUCH AS ARE COM

MITTED TO THEIR CHARGE TO THAT AGREEMENT IN THE FAITH

AND KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, AND TO THAT RIPENESS AND PER.

FECTNESS OF AGE IN CHRIST, THAT THERE SHALL BE NO PLACE

ERROR

IN

RELIGION

OR

LEFT AMONG THEM EITHER FOR
VICIOUSNESS IN LIFE.”

Far would I be from uttering a word in commendation of any other feature in our Establishment, to the disparagement of this most essential and important one, or to the countenance of an opinion that it can ever be matter of indifference by whom our ordinances are administered. No one can be more sensible that their whole benefit will be greatly neutralized, where they are coldly and heartlessly dispensed by one who feels not their power; that it may

*Hooker and others, in opposition to the opinion, (not yet quite extinct) which would limit the expectation of spiritual benefit almost entirely to the use of the ordinance of preaching, excluding from the definition of that term all that is merely read in the Church, cite Acts xv, 21, as an instance of the application of the word by which preaching is ordinarily expressed, to the reading usual in the synagogue service. “For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him being read in the synagogues every sabbath day,".

be greatly counteracted, where a variance exists in life or doctrine between the preacher and the church he serves.

But are we, as a body, obnoxious to this grievous accusation ? It becomes not the accused to assume the office of the judge: but after every admission as to individual cases, it would be easy out of the mouth of enemies as well as friends to disprove the charge; and I feel persuaded that many who hear me, that multitudes in all parts of the land, will bear grateful testimony, from personal experience, to the value of a parochial ministry ; of a practical illustration in their pastor's daily conversation, of the reality and power of the doctrines he delivers ; of a friend at hand in the hour of sickness and distress, to bring home to the heart when most open to receive them, the warnings and consolations of the gospel ; of one who mingles not unwelcomely in the hours of social enjoyment, watchful for opportunities of spiritual improvement from every passing event; one who is the father of the young, the comforter of the aged, the adviser of the doubtful, the helper of the destitute, the teacher of the ignorant, the encourager of every good work ; whose form is connected with the best and dearest recollections of life, and from whom in death they would not be divided. But the character is happily familiar to our minds, and by no means difficult to be sketched from the life.

Such an order of men it is the object of the Establishment to disperse throughout the land; to disperse them not at random, lut within defined districts, and under regular superintendence; so that every inhabitant of the island may have a known and responsible instructer, on whom he has a claim for spiritual aid, and every parish minister his proper sphere of labour, in which if he be confined, it is but as the soldier to the ranks, and every leader to his post, that his strength and courage may be effective to the general objects of the army, and not be fruitlessly spent in detached and undisciplined exertions.

We cannot indeed as positively affirm that the work of edification is carried on, that pastoral instruction is efficiently dispensed, throughout the whole circle of our parishes, as we can that the gospel is made known in every one of our parish churches.

Among sixteen-thousand of the sons of men, the probable number of our body, it would be expecting miracles to suppose that none will be found unfaithful to their trust; that there will not be endlessly varied degrees of diligence and prudence, of mental or bodily powers, in those who endeavour to discharge it.

By acts also of sacrilege or negligence, which past ages and the present must share between thcm, many parishes are deprived of the blessing of a resident pastor, and many others are so extensive and so slenderly provided with instructers in comparison with the amount of their population, that the personal superintendence designed by this institution is next to impossible, and though the claim for pastoral instruction be answered where it is made, but little can be done to awaken a sense of its worth in those who feel it not, to seek the sheep of Christ dispersed through the peopled wilderness.

Even here however, the value of our Parochial Order--of responsibility laid on one, to care for the souls of all, within a certain and known district,-is usually seen and felt, in the efforts to which it naturally prompts for the removal of the existing evil. And hence, the multiplication of schools, and occasional celebration of divine ordinances in spots remote from the mother church; the erection and endowment of new places of worship; the division of parishes ; the excitement and direction of christian liberality in the wealthier towards the spiritual improvement of the poorer parishioners; form the first impulse to which, our overgrown parishes are ordinarily indebted to a vigilant and conscientious incumbent.

I might dwell on the value of such an order in a secular point of view, as a powerful means of diffusing civilization, and knowledge, and peace, in the rudest districts. I might refer to its beneficial influence in linking together the several ranks of society, and softening whatever of opposition may seem to exist in their several claims and interests. I might adduce strong evidence, even from that unhappy portion of our country in which a Protestant Establishment is now held up only to hatred and contempt, in proof, that where his direct influence as a clergyman extended little beyond his own household, the minister of that Establishment, was yet, ere the reins were given up to the authors of discord and confusion, revered as a friend and benefactor; that he greatly compensated by his presence for the loss of a resident gentry; and frequently prepared the way by the secular benefits which he dispensed, for the more favourable reception of his

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