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that day until Advent again returns. These divisions are of course altogether arbitrary, yet they have arisen out of the circumstances of the case, and are not very unequal. The Sundays after Trinity vary (as has been already stated at page 30) from twenty-two only, when Easter falls on the latest, to twenty-seven when it falls on the earliest, possible days; and the manner in which the services are to be ordered under these variations, is stated in the Rubric at the end of the service for the last Sunday after Trinity, in the Book of Common Prayer. The Services for the first half-year having been in the main doctrinal, those for the second half-year are eminently practical : for the grand doctrines of the Christian Religion having been all clearly and distinctly enunciated whilst commemorating the Events in our Saviour's life during the first portion of the year, the second portion has been devoted to the elucidation and inculcation of those precepts and practices which necessarily result therefrom ; and to the delineation of that character which should be formed after the model of Christ, of whom every professed follower should strive to be a living transcript : that we not only profess to be His, but may ever, by His grace preventing, without which we can do nothing, “ bring forth out of a good conversation those works, with
meekness of wisdom,” which are in keeping with our profession, and correspond with the name of “ Christian ” which we bear.
In the course of the preceding Seasons of the Christian year, Services for certain special days from time to time intervene. Of these, two have a reference to and connexion with the Saviour, viz. that which is entitled “The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, commonly called, The Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin ;” and that entitled “ The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary :” and the rest for the most part have reference to the Disciples and Martyred followers of Christ. The two which have reference to Christ have probably been introduced, partly to complete the Cycle of Services connected with His history, and partly to assure us of His complete fulfilment of all the requirements and obligations of the law under which He was born, and to which for our sakes He was obedient. The services for the days of the Apostles and others are not for the Deification, or Glorification, or Canonization of those personages : nor whilst we honour their memories in and by those services, is that honour the end for which the services themselves have been introduced into our Liturgy, and the days set apart as holy days. The object designed thereby is to glorify God in them, as the Christians are said by St. Paul (Gal. i. 24) to have done with respect to himself whilst he was yet living amongst them. The leading features in their characters and histories are brought under our notice on these occasions, that we may be stimulated to imitate their Zeal, or to copy their Holiness, and to seek of God grace to be enabled to do so; but the great end designed is to glorify God for His grace given unto them, by which they were enabled to be what they were, and to do what they did. Or, to adopt the language of that ornament of our reformed Church, the judicious Hooker; “ Forasmuch as we know that Christ hath not only been manifested great in Himself, but great in other His saints also, the days of whose departure out of the world are to the Church of Christ as the birth and coronation days of kings or emperors, therefore especial choice being made of the very flower of all occasions in this kind, there are annual selected times to meditate of Christ glorified in them which had the honour to suffer for His sake, before they had age and ability to know Him: glorified in them who knowing Him as Stephen, had the sight of that before death whereinto so acceptable death did lead ; glorified in those sages of the East that came from far to adore Him and were conducted by strange light ; glori
fied in the second Elias of the world, sent before Him to prepare His way; glorified in every of those Apostles whom it pleased Him to use as founders of His kingdom here: glorified in the angels, as in Michael; glorified in all those happy souls that are already possessed of hea
In all these cases the services and circumstances of the day sufficiently explain themselves, and require no special remarks.
Explanation of the Points embraced under the
Second Topic, viz. the General Subject of
I. The Nature of prayer may be defined as
“making request to God.” Phil. iv. 6. This may be either
1. With or without words. Ps. xxv. 1; Lam. iii.
41; Hosea, vii. 14; 1 Sam. i. 13. 2. In few words or many words. Eccles. v. 2, 3;
Luke, xviii. 1; vi. 12 ; xviii. 13; xvii. 5; Mark,
ix. 24; Matt. vi. 7. 3. With or without a form. Luke, xi. 2; Matt.
vi. 6; Acts, xii. 12; iii. 1; (the Jews used litur
gical forms in their Temple Services.) II. Prayer is Necessary for many reasons ; but especially,
1. Because expressly commanded. Matt. vii. 7;
Phil. iv. 6; 1 Tim. ii. 8; Ezek. xxxvi. 36, 37.
2. Because we need assistance. Jer. x. 23; 2 Cor.
iii. 5; Prov. iii. 5, 6; John, xv. 5. 3. Because we cannot obtain assistance without
asking. Job, XV. 4; James, iv. 2; 2 Chron.
xvi. 12. 4. Because to live without prayer is to live like
atheists or like brutes. Ps. x. 4; lxxiii. 3-11;
Isa. i. 2-4. III. The only Object to whom prayer is to be addressed is God; and this,
1. Because praying is worshipping; and God only
is to be worshipped. To pray to any other object is a transgression of God's law. Hence it is sinful to do so. Luke, iv. 5–8; Ex. xx. 5, 6;
Rev. xix. 10. 2. Because God only knows what we say, or what
we need, and He only is able to assist. Hence to pray to any other object is a waste of time, is idle and useless. Ps. cxv. 3-8; Deut. xxxii. 31, 39; Ps. lxvii. 20; Jer. xvii. 5-8; Ps. cxlvi.;
xlix.; 1 Kings, xviii. 20-39. IV. The Requirements of prayer are many; but especially,
1. Faith on the part of the offerer. Heb. xi. 6;
James, i. 6; Matt. xxi. 22; Heb. x. 22. 2. Agreement with the will of God in the prayers
themselves. James, iv. 3; 1 John, v. 14. 3. That they be offered in sincerity. Ps. xvii. l;
John, iv. 24; Matt. xv. 8; Isa. lviii. 2-7; i.
10–15. 4. A humble spirit. 2 Chron. vii. 14; Luke, xviii.
13; Isa. Ixvi. 2; Ps. li. 17; 1 Peter, v. 5. 5. A reverent manner. Heb. xii. 28; Eccles. v.
1-4; Acts, xx, 36 ; xxi. 5; Eph. iii. 14. 6. That they be offered in the name of Christ.
Eph. ii. 18; John, xiv. 6; xiv. 14; xvi. 23. V. The Matters which prayers offered to this