« AnteriorContinuar »
to the Son of God: and yet in this 'reformed Liturgy, all the latter part of the Te Deum ; the fecond versicle of the Litany, O Son of God Redeemer of the world, &c. and, O Lamb of God that takes away the fins of the world, &c. are retained. It is true, there are not many instances of the kind, in the whole service; at the same time we cannot help being of opinion, that there would have been a greater consistency, if nothing of this kind had occurred. The great principle of the Christian religion seems to be, that there is but one God; that he only is to be worshipped as the supreme object of all religious homage; and that all acts of Christian worship are to be offered up to him, in the name of Jesus Chrift; that is, as his disciples, and with those dispositions which are recommended in his gospel.—That the character of our Saviour is the worthy object of honour and veneration, is most readily admitted ; that the high offices he is appointed to sustain in the government of this world, and particularly his regal office and character, do justly demand our devout attention and obedience, will likewise be allowed : and the memorable declarations he, upon some extraordinary occasions, made concerning himself, all power is given to me both in heaven and carth; the Father judgeth no man, but bath committed all judgment to the Son; as the Father hath life in himself, so he hath givin to the Son to have life in himself; and to give it to whomsoever be will; do bespeak a most fignificant character, and could only be spoken by one who filled up the most important station in the government of God. But notwithstanding this, that Jesus is not equally, and in the same manner the objest of worship as the Supreme Being is, must also be granted. And, therefore, as all our Saviour's instructions relating to the worship of the Deity, are so entirely silent upon this head; as nothing of this kind is mentioned in any part of the Gospels ; as the instances of its being practised in the first age of Christianity are so few; and as the setting up two distinct objects of worship is a departure from the simplicity of religion, and may tend to distract the minds of men; it should seem desirable, that the worship of Christians, and especially in all public afsemblies, should be directed to the one Supreme God, in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ.
Instead of the Absolution, as it at present stands in the Morning and Evening Service, the Author of this Specimen hath introduced in the same place, a Declaration to be made by the Minister alone. He seems to like the word Declaration, as more decent and modest than Absolution, and hath expressed
himself with great caution, without departing much from the
Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Chrift, having in bis holy word commanded his Ministers to declare to all people, that he defireth not the death of a sinner, but ra:her that he inay turn from his wickedness and live; and that he is ready and willing to pardon and absolve all them who truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel ; lct us the clore befcech him to grant us true repentance and his holy Spirit, that those things may pleafe him which we do at this present, and that the rest of our life hereafter may be and holy, so that at the last we may came to his eternal joy, through Jelus Chriit our Lord. Amen."
These are the principal alterations which the Reader will meet with in this Specimen : there are a few others of a verbal kind, which will be generally thought for the better. The Author has also added, a new Table of Lellons for each day in the year; and a Table of felebied Psalms for every day of the month. These were necessary improvements; and they seem to be digested here in a judicious and proper man
Upon the whole, as the picus and judicious Editor says, in his preface, " This aitempt, as well as some other Specimens that have appeared in consequence of the Free and candid Disquisitions, plainly shew this at least, how easily our Liturgy might be altered for the better, and what great improvements it is capable of, if our worthy Governors were disposed to set about this noble and Christian work, and which - lias been so long and so earnestly wilhed for by the most rational members of the Church of England. It would be a glorious event, indeed, if the public service was reduced to the standard of the New Testament, fo that nothing was found in the former, but what was warranted by, or not inconsistent with the latter. This would prove an extraordinary blessing, not only to this national church, but likewise to other Prc teftant churches, at home and abroad, by setting them a noble example of the necessity of another Reformation. Above all, by this Christian work, England might become the happy occafion of enlightning every part of the globe with the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ; nothing being more conducive to this godlike purpose, than to reform those corruptions in the Christian church which have-hindered the conversion of Jews, Heathens, and Mahometans.”
It is not easy for persons in common life to foresee when the Governors of the Church will think it a convenient feason to enter upon this great work of Reformation : or, pero, haps, their various fears may for ever prevent them from vigorously engaging in it. Notwithstanding this, if Reformation be necessary; if the satisfaction of the most sensible and valuable part of the clergy; if the progress of knowlege; if the interests of true religion amongst the laity; if the growth of infidelity and immorality, all cry out for reformation; in the name of God, let it be attempted by those who are equally interested in it, and whose minds are not subject to the fame fears.
A time of public war, and especially when the dividing voice of faction hath again gone forth' amongst all ranks of men, may seem to be unleasonable for fuch attempts as thele: Reformation in religion may, perhaps, be better expected amongst the arts and improvements of peace :-- when that happy event comes, may it bring along with it to the English church and nation this great and desired blessing; and amongst the many unequalled honours of the reign of George III. may it in future ages be said, that under bis wise and auspicious government this good work was compleated!
In the mean time, every thing which the present circumstances of affairs will admit of, ought to be done, in order to prepare the minds of men, and to facilitate the execution of this important design, when it shall in earneft be attempted: and, to this end, nothing could have a better tendency, or a more powerful effect, than for those Noblemen and Gentlemen who have divine service performed in their own domestic chapels, to introduce the use of some such Specimen as is now published. We should apprehend they might do it without giving offence to public authority, and especially if the officiating Clergyınan had not any other cure in the church. This would be giving sanction to the important defign; the countenance of their example would have the greatest effect upon the minds of their tenants and neighbours : were one instance of this kind to take place, it would probably foon be followed by many more; and we will take the liberty to say, that amidst the various public services in which persons of rank are engaged, either in the senate, or in the administration of justice and the laws, they could not render a more important service to their country, than by contributing, in this manner, to the reformation of religion.
The Disfenters have frequently been called upon to join their influence towards the accomplishment of this design: and as far as we are able to judge, many of the most rational and sensible part of that body of people are very well affected to it, and have repeatedly declared their readiness to join in the communion of the national church upon such a reformation as hath been proposed. There is, we are told, a very respectable society already formed in one of the northern counties, who have agreed to introduce such forms of wora fhip into their public service, as they can all conscientiously join in : and how far this may pave the way for the reformation of the national church, (which our Editor seems to expect from such a practice becoming general) time only can discover. This one thing, however, we would beg to suggest to them, as a thought not unworthy their confideration, whether it might not be prudent to make use of the specimen we have now had under our review, as far as they approve of itin preference to another service which may be prepared for them ; which, however just and philosophical it may be in its sentiments, and we doubt not is so, will, however, have the
great objection of novelty against it; aud, probably, may not be so chaste and fimple in its language.
We desire by no means to be understood as di&tating to those who have the most perfect right to judge and chusc for them felves, and, we presume, are well able to determine what may be the most prudent measure in their peculiar circumstances : but we hope to be excused in our carnest wishes; that every event may conspire, and every method be pursued, which may tend to bring about a general Reformation; that the public service of religion may be performed in fincerity and truth; and that true and genuine Christianity may prevail against all superstition and falfe religion whatsoever,
Aiz Elay on the differene Nature of Accent and Quantily, with
their Use and Application in the Pronunciation of the English, Latin, and Greck Languages; containing an Account and Explanation of the ancient Tones, and a Defence of the present System of Greek accentual Marks, against the Objections of isaac Voffius, Henninius, Sarpedonius, Dr. G. and -cthers. By John Foster, M. A. laie Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. Svo. 3 s, 6d. in boards. Pote, &c.
HE fubject of this Essay will, probably, be looked up
on by many Readers as curious, rather than useful, or of any considerable importance. Others there are, who will, no doubt, look upon it in a different light. For our part, we shall only observe, that Mr. Foster is an able advocate for that side of the question which he expouses ; and that there are some curious and pertinent remarks to be met with: in his Essay.--He endeavours, in opposition to a spreading opinion, to vindicate, from the imputation of ignorance, absurdity, and barbarism, the character of those learned Greeks of the lower Empire, to whom Europe, he says, is greatly indebted for much of that sound knowlege it now has : whose exile and misfortunes are to be pitied; whose abilities and genius are to be honoured ; whose industry is to be respected; whose labours are to be thankfully, received ; and of whom every true lover of Greek learning should, with pleasure and gratitude, acknowlege himself a follower and admirer.
In the course of his attempt to vindicate our present system of accentual marks, he draws an argument à priori; in proof of the existence of ancient Tones distinct from Quantity. For as vocal sounds are formed by organs of speech which are essential and immutable parts of our nature, they muft have been, he says; in all ages substantially and formally the same, tho variously modified in their application : and if height and (ength are different and distinct qualities of human sound at present, they must have been so in the time of Homer or Aristotle.
When the Greek language became, what it was for several ages, the favourite of foreigners, then those persons, we are told, who particularly studied it with a view of illustrating and making it more generally known, did, in order to facilitate the instruction of others, wisely and properiy enoughi invent marks of direction for that purpose; whether exactly in the same form with those we now have, or no, is very fignificant. Marks themselves are quite arbitrary: and if they are but faithful, are good. But whatever signs or characters Grammarians deviled and used on that occasion, the thing signified by them, i, e. the particular rise and fall of the voice, Mr. Foiter says, was the same, not invented by them, but existing always before them, (as much as speech was before any characters were formed) and only pointed out by them in a certain determinate manner.