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believe to be derogatory to the character of God, and subversive of the most important truths of the gospel.

It is exceedingly desirable that these evils and inconveniencies may be remedied, so that in all places where there are any considerable number of persons attached to the order of Universalists—as well where regular societies are not yet formed as where they are-public worship may be established, and celebrated by them with due order and solemnity. With the view to this object, it has been suggested at different times, and especially of late, by several worthy Ministers, and other zealous and discreet members of the order, that a well-digested and judicious form of public religious devotion, would be a provision well adapted to the attainment of the above desirable object.

It is fully conceded that where regular and approved Ministers, and duly accredited public teachers of our denomination are established, or can be obtained, they may justly be considered competent to lead the devotions of a congregation in the performance of the customary and appropriate services, without the aid of a precomposed form, or advised method of proceeding. Yet it may be worthy of consideration, whether public worship might not be enlivened and rendered more interesting by the occasional use of some forms of devotion in which the congregation should have the opportunity, and should be requested to take a more active part in

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the services, by appropriate and animating responses. It is evident that some of the devotional Psalms of David were composed after this manner, and were so recited in the Jewish church; and since many of them are, in style and spirit, truly evangelical, and also prophetically descriptive of the blessings of the gospel, they are equally adapted to the devotions of the Christian sanctuary. Selections from them are accordingly made to be used on some occasions, as may be judged expedient. Some of the prayers also, and other devotional exercises set forth in this book, are prepared with responses for the congregation; and are respectfully submitted to the judgment of the brethren, both ministers and others.

But it has been an especial aim in this work, to prepare and present some plain and easy directions, and suitable helps for the performance of public and social worship by those of our brethren in the faith of God's universal and ceaseless love, who may not enjoy the privileges, nor have access to the services of the “ Ministry of Reconciliation.” Such will then have the opportunity, on each returning Sabbath, of meeting together, however few in number, and of uniting in acts of adoration, praise and prayer, to the one great and common Parent, the Father of the spirits of all flesh, and “ the God of all

grace and consolation.”

At such meetings, some brother may be chosen or requested to lead in the religious services; which he

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will be enabled to do without embarrassment, according to the order herein proposed. A printed sermon may then be read; and it is a very favourable circumstance that sermons by Universalist Ministers may be conveniently obtained—such being almost weekly published in papers, and often in pamphlets, and upon the most interesting subjects, both doctrinal and practical. These can be had without difficulty, in sufficient number and variety, so that new ones may be read at those meetings, every Sabbath in the year. Thus, by the adoption of this desirable measure, those brethren and friends of our order (and often those who are yet wholly unacquainted with the doctrine of universal grace) who have not the opportunity, or but very seldom, of hearing the word of reconciliation from the lips of its ambassadors, may yet hear, in their published discourses, what, by their doctrine, “the Spirit saith unto the Churches."

The forms of prayer contained in this Manual, are (as we think they should be) of moderate length; the language and style plain and solemn; and to the sentiments expressed in them, we confidently believe, all sincere Christians can cheerfully and devoutly respond a hearty amen.

Concerning this short but very significant, and in our opinion, very appropriate response, we here take occasion to remark, that although the practice of saying amen at the close of prayers, thanksgivings, &c., has been greatly abused, through igno

rance and intemperate ardour; whereby, with other improprieties, noise and confusion have often taken the place of sober, rational devotion ; yet if the congregation—who ought to be, and many of whom doubtless are, equally sincere and fervent in the religious services as is the minister or leader-should, at the close of prayers, devout ascriptions, &c., express their hearty concurrence, by audibly, solemnly, and unitedly pronouncing an emphatic amen, it would evidently manifest an attentive engagedness in the worship; and we see not wherein it is justly objectionable.

We learn by ecclesiastical history, that this practice early prevailed in the worship of the Christian church; and its propriety is more than intimated in the Scriptures. St. Paul speaks, with implied approbation, of saying amen at the giving of thanks. -See 1 Cor. xiv. 16. When St. John, as recorded in Revelations, v. 13, 14, heard “every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever,” a response is added as follows:-"And the four asts (or living creatures] said Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever.” Again, Rev. xxii. 20, “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly." Response, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

6. The peo

The pious and devout psalmist, in the true spirit of the gospel, ardently prays, and blesses God as follows: “Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting:” and then he adds, “and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the Lord.”

In relation to the custom in religious worship, of which we are now speaking, it may not be improper to notice, what is doubtless generally known, that in the Episcopal church the same has been, and still is, uniformly, and very orderly practised, conformably to the following general direction: ple shall answer, at the end of every prayer, Amen.

The abuse and perversion of this usage, are, we think, to be disapproved; but if regularly and solemnly practised, we believe its tendency would be to animate and enliven devotion, and render it more impressive and interesting. And moreover-and which ought to be no trifling consideration-it would be following the example of the pious worshippers of God of ancient time, both in the Jewish and the Christian church. In this persuasion, and with these views of the subject, we beg leave, respectfully to commend it to the consideration of the ministers and brethren generally, of the Universalist denomination; being confident that they will agree that any matter or circumstance, however apparently small, which has relation to the impor

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