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ministry among them, and the persecutions he had endured for their sakes, (which subject he again recurs to in the latter part of this Epistle) was that he might exhort them to make suitable returns for his great zeal and fervent love towards them, in their pure profession of Christianity, and by avoiding all intercourse with idolaters, either by marriage, or by being present at their worship, and partaking of their feasts, and by becoining pure both in body and soul. ch. vi. vii.
IN CHAPTERS viii. and ix., St. Paul excites the Corinthians to a liberal contribution towards the poor saints in Jerusalem and Judea, and this he does by several arguments, namely, by the example of the Macedonians, by commendation of their former liberality, by the example of Christ, and by the special benefits which would certainly redound to themselves in consequence. The remaining chapters of this Epistle were written to confute the suggestions of the false teachers, who yet stood out against the Apostle, and in endeavouring to reduce them, both by threatenings and persuasions. In chap. x. St. Paul upbraids them for undervaluing him, on account of the meaniness of his personal appearance, without duly weighing the strength of his doctrine and writing; as also for their practice of runnning from one Church to another; not for the sake of converting more people to the Christian faith, but to prevent such as were already converted by the true Apostles of Christ. One of the chief insinuations of the false teachers relative to St. Paul, was, that he had not taken maintenance of their Church, from which they argued, that either he did $0 because he did not believe himself to be truly an Apostle, since he would not accept that which he allowed to be due to him in that character, or because he did not love them, and again they said, that this apparent disinterestedness was only å trick to ensnare them. All which St. Paul abundantly disproves, and concludes his Epistle' with earnest exhortations to reformation, professing how much it would rejoice him at his next coming, to find no occasion to shew the power he had to vindicate himself, and punish them.
“ ALTHOUGH many parts of this Epistle appear adapted only to the case of the Corinthians, yet on a careful study of it, w shall easily discover that the most important doctrines of th Bible are interwoven with it, and that these are profitable fo the consideration of Chrsitians in all ages. Thus, the ch. ii v. 5, slows us the inability of man; v. 21, the righteousnes which God has provided for him; v. 9. 10. the diligence wit which we must nevertheless labour in the great work of or salvation; vii. 1, instructs us as to the proper effect of tt promises of the Gospel ; v. 14, what is its great motive to obed ence; xiii. 14, concentrates every blessing which languag can express, or the heart of man conceive, as flowing to from that love of God which leads us to love Him in return.
THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS. The Epistle to the Galatians is placed the next in order our Bibles; but it appears uncertain at what tiine St.Paul wro it, although we may conclude that it was before his visit Jerusalem, which led to his being imprisoned, and sent Rome. Galatia was a part of Asia Minor, and derived i name from the Gauls, who, about 240 years B. C. took po session of it by force of arms, and settled there. St. Pa founded several Churches in Galatia, as appears from the Ac of the Apostles, where he is described as going over the par where he had previously taught, and strengthening the disciple and also we find his Epistle addressed to the Churches Galatia.
St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Galatians, at once ente upon the subject which occasioned his writing to them, s shortly after he had left them, ch. i. 6. This was to rebuk them for allowing themselves to be led away by false teacher
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from the doctrines he had taught them, and that at so early a period after their conversion, when it might have been expected, that the arguments he had used would not have been forgotten by them. The Judaizing Christians here referred to, had endeavoured to persuade the Galatians that it was necessary for them to be circumcised, and that they should vbey the law of Moses, urging as a reason, but without any foundation, the authority of the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem. They had represented St. Paul as having an inferior commission, on which account, in his Epistle, he proves that he was taught immediately by Christ, and was therefore on an equal footing with the other Apostles.
TAE PRINCIPAL subject of the Epistle to the Galatians is "justification by faith without the deeds of the law,” a doctrine which the converted Jews did not like to receive, because they trusted in their own righteousness, and in their pride, looked upon circumcision, not as they should have done, as a sign assuring them of God's love and help, but as a sign of their own merit.
St. Paul's first argument (ch. iii.) against the principles of the Jewish zealots, is taken from the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, conferred upon Christians. He then goes on to speak of Abraham's justification, proving that all true Christians, whether circumcised or not, are accepted and pardoned upon the same faith, and from the same promise that justified that eminent Patriarch, and not at all from the ubservance of the Jewish law. The Jewish zealots object, "To what purpose then was the law given ?" he answers, It shews the law to have been only preparatory to the Gospel, and that all believers, Gentile and Jewish are to be saved by the Christian religion alone.
In this Epistle St. Paul does not enter so much at length on the subject of justification'by faith alone, as in his Epistle to the Romans, probably because the Galatians had had the previous benefit of his ministry, which the Romans had not. But he places the doctrine in a very striking point of view, by declaring “Christ is become of none effect to you, whosoeve of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace.”
Let us then, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of right eousness by faith ; like the Apostle, glorying only in the cros! of Christ; while our lives, exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit prove that ours is that faith which worketh by love.
THE HISTORY OF THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.
The First Prayer Book of King EDWARD THE Sixth. During the reign of Henry VIII. considerable advances had been made, to enable the people of England to worship in their own tongue. In the year 1545 a Book was published and set forth by the King's authority, containing, in the English language, the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Litany, and various prayers for private devotion. In 1548 a form for the administration of the Communion was set forth by the King's authority, but a part only was read in English. In the same year, however, a commission, amongst whom were Archbishop Cranmer, Dr. Ridley, Dr. Cox, and many other distinguished divines, met at Windsor and compiled an entire Book of Common Prayer, in the English language.
The Books used in the Church previously to the Reformation were called the Missal, the Breviary, and the Rituale. From the Missal our Communion Service was principally ompiled; the Morning and Evening Prayers (matins and
vespers) now used from the Breviary, and our occasional offices from the Rituale. These three combined, (together with the ordinal, which was compiled afterwards in 1550,) constituted the first “Prayer Book of King Edward the Sixth." This Book commenced with the Lord's Prayer, as did also the Breviary; the Commissioners shifted the Creed from the third place to that after the Lessons ; but they entirely omitted tbe Ave Maria.
The arrangement of the Psalms was also altered ; in the Breviary they were divided into seven portions,called nocturns; but these being tedious, they were so ordered as to be read through once a month. The Apostles' Creed in the Reformed Book was substituted for the Athanasian on Sundays, with the exception of the Festivals of Christmas, the Epiphany, Easter, Ascension Day, Whit Sunday, and Trinity Sunday. The arrangement of the Collects was also altered, and those for Saint's Days written anew, because those in the Breviary contained supplications to the Saints commemorated for their intercession. The “Collectarium,” which contained the Collects in the Breviary, was compiled by St. Gelasius in the latter part of the fifth century, and corrected in the year 600 by St. Gregory and placed in his sacramentary. The Lectionary contained the Lessons of the Church and the shorter Lessons, (or Epistles and Gospels), and is supposed to have been arranged by St. Jerome.
Tne Commissioners retained the Introit; or Psalm sung when the officiating Priest went up to the Altar, but omitted the Gradual or Grail which was sung in the Romish Church after the Epistle. They retained the unleavened bread in the Eucharist and the wine mixed with water, but they abolished the stamp of the Crucifix, and ordered that the Communion should be administered in both kinds to the people, and into their hands instead of their mouths, (as it was and still is with respect to the bread in the Roman Church.) The Elevation, incense, and other ceremonies were abolished.