Page images
PDF
EPUB

much. I think, the decision of the question turns entirely upon the right rendering of these two words. Doddridge, and what commentators are within my reach, do not satisfy me.

Yours, &c.
Woolpit,

S.C.
April 7th 1806.

P.S. A Correspondent of yours, who signs himself V.0.0. in your last Number, says, an argument for the divinity of Christ may be fetched from the 12th and 13th verses of the Epistle to the Romans. I cannot help thinking it would be far-fetched. “ May the God of hope," Code O:05 TNS Emaiôos) v. 13. is nothing more than a coinmon formulary of speech, and is exactly analogous to “ May the God of Patience” Ode Osos tos izouovms) v. 5. of the same chapter, and perhaps to “ The God of love and peace,” 2 Cor. 13. 11.

ON THE BURIAL SERVICE.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S

MAGAZINE.

SIR,

I

N the case of the rebels of 1745, cited by Dr. Burn,

(see your Magazine for January, p. 19,) there was no difference in guilt between those who suffered the sentence of the law, and those who died before the time fixed for their execution. All were attainted; and the only reason : that appears for a distinction in their treatment after death was, that the king claimed the bodies of those who perished on the gibbet, but not of those who died in prison. In consequence of this, the latter, agreeably to the opinion of the lawyer consulted, were interred. It should seem, therefore, to be a general rule, that, where the king gives up the body of a malefactor, (for all capital convicts without exception are at his disposal,) he may be admitted to Christian burial. The two Perreaus lie in the vault of St. Martin's church, Charing-cross : & coffin is shewn there also for that of Hackman, who murdered Miss Roy; and, if I mistake not, the corpse of the unfortunate Lord Ferrers, after it had been exposed in Surgeon's Hall, was deposited with his fathers.

[ocr errors]

man.

It was unnecessary to add any thing to what was said upon the subject by Mr. Pearson in your last Number; and I should not have troubled you upon it, but to enter, with great deference to the judgment of that respectable gentleman, my protest against admitting any alteration in the liturgy, at the discretion of the officiating clergy

It is not every one who would exercise such a power with prudence; and I fear there are many who would abuse it; and who would thence take occasion to insinuate principles irreconcileable with our articles, and hostile to our Church. I could, I think, instance in one or two cases where a change has been made, not apparently great, and professedly upon conscientious grounds, and yet of a dangerous tendency. I would not have a deviation with an evil. intention, justified by the precedent of one made with a good. Op the amendments proposed by Mr. P. I beg leave to submit to his further consideration, whether two are necessary. When we say that it hath pleased Almighty God to tåke unto himself”the soul of our dear brother, we assert no more than the author of Ecclesiastes does of all in general, viz. that when the body returns unto the earth the spirit returns unto God. And if God is said in Scripture to deliver a people to the sword, and to famine, why not a sinner also to justice, and so from the miseries which his wickedness brings upon him in this sinful world. As for those hardened wretches, who die in an impenitent reprobate state, would it not be better in their case to refuse the service altogether than omit a part? They are not, it is true, excommunicated by the Church, but by obstinately rejecting the aid and consolation of her ministers, and ali benefit to be derived fram her prayers and sacraments, do they not virtually excommunicate themselves, and so come under the prohibition of the Rubrick ?

Allow me to take this opportunity of noticing an error or two in my Letter of last month, whether of the press or manuscript I cannot say, but one at least is material. In

page 194, line 5, the word equally should have been inserted before fatal; and again, line 24, étos should have followed refer. The short parenthesis of which I speak in the same page, I consider as the parenthesis of our translators; there is none in the original.

I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,

V.O.O.
April 18, 1806.

EXTRACTS.

EXTRACTS.

CONSIDERATIONS ON THE HYMN OF

ZACHARIAS,

A

By BISHOP HORNE.
MONG the alterations in nature, which notify the

return of spring, no one is more pleasing, than the exchange of a long and melancholy silence, for that melody which then resoundeth on every side of us, in the. woods and fields. Solomon hath not forgotten this circumstance, in his short but lovely description of that delightful season. " Lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the tine of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land*. The advent of Messiah was announced, in a similar manner to the church; and we may say of it, in the words of the Roman poet, which, like those of Caiaphas, contained much more than he was aware of who attered them :

Aspice, venturo lætentur ut omnia sæclo ! For now, the blessed virgin“ magnifieth the Lord, and her spirit rejoiceth in God her Saviour:” the father of the Baptist" blesseth the Lord God of Israel, for having visited and redeemed his people :” the angels themselves descend in full choir, to perform an anthem in honour of their Lord and ours : and old Simeon closeth all with his affecting farewell to the world; “ Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” Thus did all “ break forth into joy, and sing together, because the Lord had comforted his people, and redeemed Jerusalem;" because the Sun of Righteousness, by his visitation of the earth, was putting a period to a dreary winter, and introducing in its stead, a new and more glorious

* Cant. ii. 11,

spring. And as spring is the morning of the year, Cowley's Address to the Material Light, which is but a faint copy, may be applied to the great original himself :

When thou lifi'st up thy radiant head
Out of the morning's purple bed,
Thy choir of birds about thee play,

And all the joyful world salutes the rising day. The hyinn which we are at present to consider, is that of Zúcharias. The occasion on which it was indited, was the birth of St. John : the subject is the covenant of grace in Christ Jesus: the language is that of the Old Testament, old terms being transferred to new things : the speaker is a priest and prophet, “ Full of the Holy Ghost.”

During a tedious interval of silence, Zacharias had beheld the accomplishment of the divine promise to him, self; and he knew likewise, that the Saviour of mankind vould soon be born of his relation, the Virgin Mary, We may judge, therefore, what pain and grief he felt, while restrained from uttering that “good matter,” of which his heart was so full, that when at length God saw fit to remove the mound, it burst forth at once in an impetuous and irresistible torrent of thanksgiving; 1. “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath

visited and redeemed his people *.”. It was no new thing for “ the God of Israel,” to “ visit and redeem his people.” He had often done it, when they were in affiction and captivity. But so to visit and redeem, was not all that he intended to do for his chosen. Through things temporal he was desirous that they should look at things eternal, and carry on their views from, a bodily to a spiritual redemption, in which all his counsels terminated ; a redemption to be effected by his visiting mankind, dwelling among them in a tabernacle of flesh, and in that tabernacle offering up the true propitiatorý sacrifice : a redemption, that should extend to Gentiles as well as Jews, and of both make one people, a new Israel, of which he should be the Lord God for evermore. How gracious this visitation! How astonishing this redempe tion! « Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people,"

* Luke i. 68.

Vol. X. Churchm. Mag. April 1806.

Nn

2. « And

was

2. “ And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us, in

the house of his servant David," In the Old Testament, we read continually of Saviours and Deliverers “ raised up” by God, to rescue his people, from time to time, out of the hands of their oppressors. But of them we may say, as the apostle does of the Levi. tical priests, “ They were not suffered to continue, by reason of death*.”. And therefore, we may argue in one case, as he doth in the other, that none of them could be the true Saviour of Israel, the subject of the promises. Neither Moses, who brought them out of Egypt, nor Joshua, who settled them in Canaan, was “ He that should come," but they were still to “ look for another." And so on, through the whole calendar of temporal saviours, who like the legal ministers,“ served only,” by their wars and victories,“ to the example and shadow of heavenly things.” The body, or substance, in either instance, of Christ.” For he who arose " a Priest for ever," arose also “ a King immortal ;" a mighty horn, or power of salvation ; a Moses, to deliver us from this present evil world ; a Joshua, to put us in possession of the heavenly Canaan ; in short, every thing, to fill up every prefigurative character. This mighty Saviour, this omnipotent king of Israel, God raised up in the house of his servant David,” as he had promised, “that of the fruit of his body according to the flesh he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne t." And to this agree the words of the angel, at the annunciatfon: “ The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign for ever and ever over the house of Jawob, and of his kingdom there shall be no end I." 2. " As he promised by the mouth of his holy prophets

which have been since the world began In a matter of so great consequence as man's redemption, God left not the world without information, from the beginning: so that wherever we find ignorance, it must be charged to the account of man, as having rejected," and not to that of his Maker, as having denied the necessary means of instruction. We see the Christian church now supported, in her belief of Messiah's second advent, on which all her hopes are fixed, by the discourses of the prophets. There is no more difficulty in one case * Heb. vii. 23. Psalm cxxxü. 11. Açts ii. 30. 1 Luke i, 32.

than

« PreviousContinue »