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to bring the mojl religious difpojtttons of heart ?—And m parity of reasoning, as much at least may be said for the expediency and necessity of hallowing Christian churches, as of our ordinary meals; and if every creature of God be sanctified with the word of God, and prayer, when received with thanksgiving, as Saint Paul lays, can any Christian doubt whether a Church may be properly said to be sanctified, when thus piously CONSECRATED ?" *
From this circumstance of dedicating churches, arose the custom of keeping the Feast Of Dedication, commonly called WAKES; which affords the clergy an additional Opportunity of exhorting the people, since "at those times, we are told, they met together from several parts to perform ar join in divine offices, and to express their mutual love smdr kindness for, and rejoicing one with the other, the dedications being commemorated once a year, and the solemnity lasting some days. Hence arose Wakes; but as in process of time they occasioned great disorders and irregularities, they were suppressed by public authority; and indeed as they are frequently kept now, they do not much answer the primitive design. Many keep up the feajling , part, who scarcely seem sensible of the original design of it; and these kind of meetings, instead of being a means of advancing the honour of God, become often the occasion of drunkenness and excess, loss of time, hurtful and unprofitable diversions, and a nealect of the public worship of God on-the Lord's day, (which duty was the chief intent of their institution) nay, of a gross prophanation of that day. I do not mention this as a general practice; several who observe them, are careful not to Offend this day."t
As the dedication of churches is a duty incumbent upon Christians, from respect to their God; so does the dedica
* A MS. Sermon on the feast of dedication, from Gen. xxviii. ] 8. by the late Reverend Oliver St. John Cooper, M. A. Vicar of Thurleigh and Puddington, Bedfordshire, Author of the Endeavour Society's Manual of Orthodox Divinity.
* Vide, a very useful and appropriate sermon preached to a country congregation, to promote unity in civil life, and reconcile the, new side to the observance of holy days ; and on observing-the Fiast Of Dedication, commonly called Wakes. London^ !76<?r Price Is.
lioo of flats 3ece£arihr ks^jr tie deikacioa of tfftiis to serve tber^n, ana hence the Oxjmxatiox of «5~« cauustry, that none may go before tbev are :«:t, or propbaaf'y usurp the tpi~i£erial cfEce, iy taking thai a/.*» ;«fn -•.;*-.», which God has never £iiea iben:. NJ ican has J '\s^' «a take it thus, and f ie Itss £re it ft i-^Jtd, tf zltgmztr. Episcopal crdinatioa has alwiys been used in »<1 the churches; nor was it ever dispu;cd umil our fr^}\tfnm sectaries set the example, which rcuiy others have i£norantly been deiuied to» follow, unwarranted as they are; and undisputed as the apofiolical practice of episcopal ordination was always heretofore efieeaied. Indeed while so much gain can be made of godliness, by 6t;p,iiM dignities, and setting at nought the whole counsel of God, we, fee there men ready enough to avail themselves of this or. any practice, and fay with their prototype of old, put us into a priest's office that mt may a:t a fiat of bread; and while ^.Jixpetny licence will legally enable a nun to. call himself a gospel preacher, and Thereby secure him certain privileges, and exclude him from many troublesome P*r*Ju offices, and loyal demands, his pocket and his course are laid at rest, and he remains secure in the perretted ptatt of that gospel, which he knows so little about, that he is inadequate even to spell the word. * Forsu.h things we may well say with the prophet, the land uuarneib and groaneth.—When will its day of deliverance arrive? Here indeed, Mr. Editor, may yourw excellent motto from Skelton be most iorcibly and unanswerably applied, We may. indeed Jay with truth that THE CHURCH IS IN DANGER, while religion is Jo coldly regarded by numbers, Whose ImMediate Ojfice It Is to Support its spirit and reputation. t
* A most exemplary divine and worthy magistrate, whose various and practical labours are well known, assured me that his official capacity had obliged him to grant these sixpenny licenses to several illiterate men, in one day, as gospel preachers, not one of whom could spell the word gospel right; their orthography placing the letters thus, Gospil, Goospul, Gaspile, &c. ice. Yet these blessed guides were to be teachers and leaders of the people.
+ See motto of the number of the Orth. Churchm. Mag. for Aug. 1807.
P P These
Vol. XIII. 'Churchm. Mag. for Oct. 1807.
These evils have ever made ordinations be ver}- seriously regarded; "ordination days," fays Burnet, " were dreadful days to me," and indeed, whoever considers the vast importance of the charge conferred, and the nature of the ministry, may well ask, who is sufficient for these things? and when the ordination offices, which the wisdom of our church hath appointed, are considered, the momentous question arises, how far the Precepts And Practice corrrjpond?
The public, the private, the incessant duties of the clergyman give him constant employment and constant anxiety, and now particularly, how much additional labour has he to use in his endeavours to drive away all strange dotlrine, which he has bound himself to do! how much does it call upon and oblige him to teach his people, at every opportunity, the nature of the church, and the fin of fe hi]m\ for the purpose of counteracting the arts of the wily sectary.who sheltering his ignorance under the pretence of inspiration, forgets that, in the beginning of Christianity, knowledge was deemed so necessary for the preachers of the gospel, that it was communicated to the apostles by a miracle; and who being ■without any regular call by the appointed outward means, he pretends to have that inward call, which is to exclude the other; forgetting at the fame time, that even a miraculous call from Christ himself, was not sufficient, by St. Paul, who was sent to Annanias for ordination; nor did our blessed redeemer himself assume the ministerial office, till baptized by John. Let the clergy then expose the artifices of these men, and thereby undeceive the people, whom they lead captive by delusions, and make a prey by craft. Newington Butts, JUVENIS, Senr.
Aug. 18, 1807.
The duty as tht Gergyta erf tree lie frefmemt rttnrtng tf
the Sacrament cf the Lard's Suf-rtr, « Sermon frrji<i*J at the llftiatw* ksldem at Somthamt:.-*, 1806. Bx :ie Rev. Samvzl Clapeam, M. A- JYarr es Christ Gfcarri, &c. 8vo. pp. s6. Rivingtons.
WE have expressed our approbation of Mr. Clapham's productions on former occasions. When he published his first volume of Selected Sermons, we recommended the publication to our readers as deserving their attention. The second volume we considered as entitled to still higher approbation; and we took occasion to mention in particular his own discourses, more especially those on Methodism, on Perjury, and Parochial Visits. The sermon before us, far from shrinking from examination, challenges it. We see the zealous preacher solely occupied with his subject; his soul is grieved that the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper should be so very generally neglected; he, therefore, recommends to his reverend auditory to impress strongly upon their respective hearers the indispensable duty of communicating. And although the subject is not placed in a new light (for to do this surpasses human ability) we assure our readers that they will find in this eloquent discourse, clear reasoning, fervent piety, and evangelical animation.
The text of this sermon is happily chosen. John vi. 53, 54. Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink hs blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateih my fltjh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life. Mr. Clapham opens
P f « his
bis discourse, with observing, that bis text has received two different interpretations. "Whilst some have expounded it, as relating solely to the transcendent excellence of the Gospel, and have pronounced such exposition as alone consistent with Holy Scripture; others, probably less prejudiced, certainly not less solicitous to discover the truth, nave, with at least equal weight of argument, and at least equally supported by the analogy of sacred writ, considered it as illustrative of the efficacy of the distinguishing ordinance of the Gospel, the Sacrament of the Lord s Supper." (P. 2.) He declares his own opinion to coincide with those who support the latter illustration. His succeeding observation we recommend to the notice of the-clergy, when they are preparing a sermon for a visitation.
•' To solicit the attention of an assembly of clergymen to abstract (peculations, or scholastic subtleties (independent of the vanity to which it is often, however unjustly, attributed) appears to me to be an entire misapplication of time; the very purpose of our assembling on these occasions, being, as I conceive, to excite in us an emulation to discharge our duty in our respective parishes, in such a manner that our several hearers may become wise unto salvation." (P. 3.)
We will give an abstract of Mr. Clapham's. arguments in support of his hypothesis.
"The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper," Mr. C. says, "I shall briefly consider, as it is evidently apprehended by the compilers of our Evangelical Liturgy, as a Feast upon a Sacrifice." (P. 3.) "The Sacrament of Baptism is a means of grace, and a pledge of assurance, that our original sin is washed away: the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is the channel through which the remission of our actual transgressions is conveyed." (P. 4.) "The Lord's Supper then, when participated with a lively faith, and an ardent desire to do the will of God, conveys pardon to the soul, and delivers the worthy receiver from the punishment which transgression ha,d merited, and justice would inflict." (P. 5.)
"Another promise included in the devout receiving of the Lord's Supper is the assistance of the Holy Spirit. If God, wist give his Holy Spii.it unto them that ask him, may it not be most reasonably expected, that He will more particularly fulfil his gracious promise, when his moral creation are deploring their offences— supplicating grace and support, not only to prevent them from dishonoring Him and debasing themselves, by returning to their iniquity; but also that they may be enabled to live obedient to his will, and devoted to his service? When they are actuated by such