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“Between the two. Covenants," says Chrysostom, " there is neither repugnance, por contrariety of meaning ; the dif. ference is merely verbal. I have repeatedly said that two covenants, two handmaids, and two sisters are the attendants on one Lord; Christ is announced by the Prophets, Christ is preached in the New Testament; the Old declared beforeband the things of the New, and the New interpreted those of the Old,”
“ The Scripture is unto us,” says Adam, “what the Star was unto the wise men. But if we spend all our time in gaze ing upon it, admiring its splendour, without being led to Christ by it, the use of it will be lost to us."
The Bible is like the Sun in the firmament of learning, and all other good books like the Moon and Stars, receive their light from it; and “ He who neglects tbe Scriptures, and seeks to know God by bis own unassisted reason, uses a candle to find the sun, which cannot be seen but by his own light.”
"The arrangement of the books of the Old Testament may be reduced to three classes. First the Historical, second the Poetical, and third, the Prophetical.”
“ The New Testament consists also of three species of writ. ing. First the Historical, second the Epistolary, and third the Prophetical.”
When the first portion of this Statute Book of the King of Kings, was given to the World, the Divine Author, gave a charge to which we shall do well to attend:
“ This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein ; for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? (Joshua, lc. 8 9v.)
OF THE CREED.
This summary called the Creed, is a term derived from the Latin word credo, (in English I believe ;) and the great propriety of placing these articles of our belief in this part of divine service will appear by a reference to what precedes and follows it: that which precedes is the Lessons taken from the Holy Scriptures; and “ faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God;” (Romans, 10c. 47v.) and therefore when we have heard it, we profess our belief thereof, setting as it were, our seals for the truth of God, That which follows is the Prayers and Supplications which are founded upon our faith; hence the Apostle saith, “ how then shall they call on him on whom they have not believed ?" and St. Augustin, saith "Faith is the Fountain of Prayers,” We here profess to believe in one Almighty God, the Father our Creator, the Son: our Redeemer, and the Holy Ghost our Sanctifier ; by whom we may obtain remission of our sins, and the certain hope o
a resurrection to everlasting life. Wherefore in communion with the Saints we draw nigh in faith, praying to Grd the Father, in the name of the Son, by the assistance of the Holy Spirit, to ask those things that are needful, both for our hodies and souls, for time and eternity.
The summary of Christian faith composed by Irenæus, who was the disciple of Polycarp, the disciple of St. John, is the most ancient that is now extant; it is as follows:
• The church disseminated throughout all the world, even unto the ends of the earth, received from the Apostles and their Disciples, the belief in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, the seas, and all that therein."
“ And in one Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who for our salvation was incarnate.
“ And in the Holy Ghost, who preached by the Prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ ; his being born of a virgin, his sufferings, resurrection from the dead, ascension into heaven in the flesh, and his coming again from heaven in the glory of the Father, to gather together one all things; (Eph. 1 & 10.) and to raise from the dead the flesh of all mankind, that to Christ Jesus our Lord God, Saviour and King, according to the good pleasure of the invisible Father, every knee may bow,
both of things in Heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; (Phil, 2c. 10 & 1lv.) and that every tongue may confess to him, and that he may exercise righteous judgment upon all; consigning to everlasting fire all spiritual wickedness, both the angels who transgressed, and became apostates, and ungodly, unjust, lawless, and blasphemous men; and bestows life upon all those that are just and holy, that have kept his commandments and abide in his love, either from the beginning of their lives, or the time of their conversion ; and investing them with immortality and everlasting glory."
“This faith,” continues Irenæus, “like the sun, illuminates the whole world. Being one and the same, neither the most eloquent teacher, nor the most eminent ruler in the church can add any thing to it, and he that is the most rude of speech, cannot diminish from it.”
OF THE VERSICLES FOLLOWING THE
Before we begin to pray, the salutation of the Miņister rem minds the People of the necessity of God's assistance; and the People remembering that he is going to present their supplications, and is, as it were, the mouth of the congregation to God, pray in return that the same Lord may be with his spirit.
The substance of these words are found in the salutation of Boaz and the Reapers, (Ruth, 2c. 4v.) “ The Lord be with you;" and they reply," The Lord bless thee."
OF THE LITANY.
The word Litany means a form of supplicatory prayer, and the most ancient Greek writers, as well as poets and historians use the word for “ An earnest supplication to the Gods, especially in adverse fortune;" in which sense it is found in Livy; and by Suidas it is expounded by words signifying to beseech earnestly. The adoption of the term by Christians does not alter its primitive signification, being still intended as a public supplication, whereby the mercy of the Holy Trinity is ardently and solemnly implored.
“ The feeling of our wants," says Mrs. More," the confession of our sins, the acknowledgment of our dependance, the renunciation of ourselves, the supplication for mercy, the application to the fountain opened for sin, the cordial entreaty for the aid of the spirit, the relinquishment of our own will, resolutions of better obedience, petitions that these resolutions may be directed and sanctified; these
are the subjects in which the supplicant should be engaged, by whicb his thoughts should be absorbed.
“When should we be warm,” says Young, “if not when our eternity'is at stake? Were our passions given for nothing, or given only as the servants of sin ? Is it not heaven, but its reverse, that is to be taken by violence ? If there is a God, all our affections are too feeble, all the wings of our soul are too few, to be put forth in pursuit of his favour; and being lan. quid in devotion, is beiog solemnly undevout,”