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Part First,

CONTAINING

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS,

EXPLAINING THE NATURE AND SETTING FORTH THE

IMPORTANCE OF THE SUBJECT TREATED ON:

IN COURSE OF WHICH IT IS SHEWN THAT

THE COLLECTS OUGHT ALWAYS TO BE REGARDED

IN THEIR PROPER CHARACTER AS

PRAYERS.

ALSO,

QUESTIONS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE COLLECTS,

AND

EXPLANATORY OBSERVATIONS ON THE FOLLOWING

POINTS CONNECTED THEREWITH:

On the Names, Reference, and Design of the Seasons of

the Christian Year. On the Subject of Prayer in general. On the Titles ascribed to God in each particular Collect

or Prayer.

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Chapter X.

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS,

EXPLAINING THE NATURE AND SETTING FORTH THE

IMPORTANCE OF THE SUBJECT TREATED ON.

TN many of the Sunday-schools in connexion

with the Church of England, a rehearsal of the Collect for the day forms one of the regular lessons for the scholars in the upper classes ; the Collect having been committed to memory during the course of the preceding week. It is probable, that, in most of the Schools where this is done, the teachers are in the habit of asking a few questions as to the meaning of any particular words or phrases which may be used in the Collect, and, perhaps, a word or two of application is added. But this lesson is, for the most part, regarded as a subordinate one only; and after a few minutes have been spent upon it, the classes pass on to their other and chief subject, the reading of the word of God.

Now, it is the writer's opinion, - an opinion which increasing experience only serves to confirm, - that this lesson is deserving a greater degree of attention, and that a longer portion of time might be advantageously devoted to the study of these valuable portions of the Liturgy of our Church. There is in connexion with the Collects so great a variety of subjects, and so wide a range of matter to explain, illustrate, and apply, that an hour might often be profitably occupied, where a few minutes are now made to suffice; and this lesson, instead of being treated as secondary and subordinate, might fairly rank as a primary one. Thus,—there is the Season of the Christian Year first offering itself to notice in the title or name of the Collect, or day, and claiming a few words of explanation. Then, there is the Event in Christ's life, or the Church's history, to which that season has reference; the Reason why that event is thus regularly commemorated in the services of the Church ; and the Subjects on which our thoughts should at such seasons be engaged. After this comes the Collect itself, demanding an attentive examination ; the Attributes of God therein acknowledged ; the Doctrines of the Gospel therein set forth; the Facts of Holy Scripture therein referred to; with the practical bearing of each and all, on our faith and duty as Christians, and as Churchmen,—all these open out a wide field for study and research. Almost every word,” it has been said, “ should

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