« PreviousContinue »
Archbishop Tillotson expressed an impious wish, "That the church of England was fairly rid of the Athanasian Creed." And why not, by the same rule, wish her to be fairly rid of a certain troublesome volume (no less galling to Arians and Arminians, than the Athanasian Creed and the Thirtynine Articles can be), viz. that two-edged sword of the Spirit, commonly called the Old and New Testaments?
IV. The seraphic hymn, entitled, Te Deum, seems to have been collected from some devotional passages in the writings of St. Ambrose and of St. Austin. Dr. Cave, however, thinks it probable, that St. Ambrose alone, had the honour of composing this divine and almost unequalled song, by way of general antidote against the Arian poison. St. Ambrose died, A. D. 397. St. Austin not until 430.
A PASSAGE IN THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY, STATED
IN what sense are we to understand that declaration of the husband to his bride, " With my body I thee worship?"
The word worship, in ancient English, signifies neither more nor less, than that honour, attention, and respect, which are due to worthship, i. e. to distinguished excellence. The church of England, taking it for granted that a man has a very high opinion of the woman he marries, enjoins him to testify that good opinion; and in such terms, as are equivalent to a solemn promise of treating her tenderly and respectfully: or, as the apostle Peter expresses it, of giving honour to the wife, as to codeves egy oxever, the less robust vessel of the two, 1 Pet. iii. 7.
A late very sensible writer (a) supposes, agreeably to the venerable Hooker's comment on the phrase, that the design of the above stipulation is, "To express, that the woman, by virtue of this marriage, has a share in all the titles and honours, which are due or belong to the person of her husband (b).” He also observes, that Martin Bucer, who lived at the very time when our liturgy was composed, translated the passage in question, by cum corpore meo te honoro, i. e. "with my body I thee honour:" and that the learned Mr. Selden renders it corpore
(a) Viz. Mr. Wheatly, in his Rationale of the Book of Common Prayer, p. 440. Edit. 1722, octavo.
(6) Seg Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, book v. sect. 73.
meo te dignor." It is true," adds Mr. Wheatly, "the modern sense of the word is [or, rather, seems] somewhat different: for which reason, at the review of our liturgy, after the restoration of king Charles II. the word worship was promised to be changed for that of honour. How the alteration came to be omitted, I cannot discover. But, so long as the old word is explained in the sense here given, one would think no objection could be urged against the using of it."
VALOUR, PATRIOTISM, AND FRIENDSHIP,
A LATE CELEBRATED AUTHOR *
EXCLUDING THEM FROM THE LIST OF VIRTUES.
LET what will become of prowess, considered, merely, in a military view, there certainly is a species of it, by no means incompatible either with the letter or spirit of the gospel, but warranted by both. Valour, properly understood, does not consist in cutting throats with insensibility, nor yet in plundering the weak, trampling on the humble, oppressing the innocent, or doing mischief, only because it may be in our power. This is a very unjust definition of the quality in question: true valour is but another word for strength of mind, and is not always constitutional; but sometimes the gift of divine grace, and sometimes the acquired result of reason and reflection. Rash, unjust, and wanton exertions of power differ as much from valour, as insolence and pride differ from real dignity, or as lawless lust differs from virtuous love. Valour, or firmness of soul, may be distinguished in active and passive. The former meets just and ne
* Soame Jenyns, Esq.
cessary dangers with decent intrepidity, as David encountered the Philistine of Gath. The latter sustains incumbent evils, with fortitude and composure, and its language is that of St. Paul, and of the whole army of martyrs. None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself; I am ready, not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts xx. 24. and xxi. 13.
"Be strong, and of a good courage," said the Deity to Joshua, "be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed," Josh. i. 9. The promise to obedient Israel was, five of you shall chase an hundred; and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight, and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword, Lev. xxvi. 8. It even seems probable, that something analagous to war, was carried on, literally, for a short time, in heaven itself, antecedently to the expulsion of the apostate angels, who can hardly be supposed to have quitted the seats of blessedness, without force on one part, and unavailing resistance on theirs. It moreover deserves remembrance, that it was among our Lord's last directions to his disciples, He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one, Luke xxii. 36. Now, a sword is both an offensive and defensive weapon. The evident purport, therefore, of the injunction is, that emergency may arise, wherein it is lawful for Christians to defend themselves by a resolute resistance, and to annoy their enemies by a vigorous assault.
The prophet Jeremiah was a patriot, or most ardent lover of his country, else he would hardly have deplored its calamities, in strains so pathetic as these: For the hurt of the daughters of my people