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order to this blessed consummation, may we ever be mindful, that the present time, is the only time, of working out our own salvation, with fear, and trembling; with stedfastness, and perseverance; with hope, that maketh not ashamed; and with charity, that never faileth.
NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS.
(1) Page 5.] In the summer of 1809, in passing through the hamlet of Four Crosses, in Staffordshire, the writer was much struck by an old inscription, he now forgets whether cut in wood or stone, over the window of a very small, and ancient inn. It was transcribed on the spot; and it seems worthy of preservation :
Fleres, si scires unum tua tempora mensem:
Rides, cum non sit, forsitan, una dies.
(2) Page 8.] Extract from a letter of Archbishop Secker, to Dr. Hildesley, Bishop of Sodor and Mann: given in Weeden Butler's Life of Bishop Hildesley.
Piety, in its true sense, is the first and great commandment. Many think external observances in religion to be piety; and, too many, to consist in the exercise of reverential affections towards God, though it prompt them very little, if at all, to imitate his moral attributes, and obey his injunctions to their fellow-creatures, and to the government of their own minds on ordinary occurrences. Perhaps they are induced, by this regard for God, not only to abstain from gross vices, usually so called, but to do acts of charity also, and contribute to religious uses; and so far is well; but, by no means do they, sufficiently, consider their obligations, as extending to every thing, in every part of life, and in their own breasts, in which there is a right and a wrong. And, hence, they conceive themselves at liberty, in point of conscience, to act as they will, in multitudes of instances, where they act very much otherwise than they ought.
Therefore, I wanted your lordship to add a fourth conference, to the three you have already written; for the purpose of saying, more explicitly, and dwelling more upon it, that religion extends its authority to every thing; to the most worldly, the commonest, the lowest things; and binds us, to behave reasonably, decently, humbly, honourably, meekly, and kindly in them all; and that its interfering so far, instead of being a hardship, is a great blessing to us; because it interferes always for our good.'
(3) Page 14.] I wait, O God, for that everlasting rest, which I want at present, but shall not want long. I 'am ready when thou, my God, callest for me: yet, can stay with patience, till thou pleasest. For thy time is the best time; and thy pleasure, the best pleasure.' John Kettlewell's
Dying Prayer, Works, vol. i. p. 29.
DISCOURSE II. *
MALACHI i. 11.
FOR, FROM THE RISING OF THE SUN, EVEN UNTO THE GOING DOWN OF THE SAME, MY NAME SHALL BE GREAT AMONG THE GENTILES; AND, IN EVERY PLACE, INCENSE SHALL BE OFFERED UNTO MY NAME, AND A PURE OFFERING; FOR MY NAME SHALL BE GREAT AMONG THE HEATHEN, SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS.
THE words which I have just read, can be deemed no unsuitable introduction to a short series of discourses, on the Liturgy of our established Church. They convey a prophetic declaration, which, in the earliest ages of Christianity, was universally explained to relate to the regulated ordinances of Christian worship: and, we accordingly find them introduced, almost without variation, into the venerable liturgy of
*This, and the four succeeding discourses, were preached in the Cathedral Church of Cashel, in the year 1807.
the Alexandrine Church: We offer, with thankfulness,' said these primitive worshippers, this reasonable, and unbloody service; which all nations present unto thee, O Lord, from the rising up of the sun, unto the going down of the same; for thy name is great in all the nations; and, in every place, incense is offered unto thy name, and sacrifice, and oblation.' (1)
And, surely, it is delightful to reflect, that the Almighty Father of our spirits receives, with benign complacency, the prayers, and adoration, and thanksgiving, which, even now, ascend before his throne; and that He is preparing all things for the completion of that glorious period, when the great body of his matured and universal Church shall worship Him, with such unanimity, and elevation of soul, that "their prayer, shall be set forth before Him as incense; and the lifting up of their hands, as the evening sacrifice."
How this blessed consummation is to be finally effected, by what process of divine wisdom and goodness, civil society is to be so modelled, and the hearts of individuals so changed, that the kingdoms of this world, shall become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, it is not for the feebleness of human intellect to conjecture. But, of this we may rest assured, that,