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Redemption brought the day; and long our discriminating and unmeasured may sounds,
preference; it is a standard of faith, From steeple towers of venerable gloom, which makes to the world the most Or minsters brown that deck the hawthorn
solemn profession of the truth as it is vales,
in Jesus, and interests therein all the Of Sabbath music on the breezy wings
sensibilities, and all the warm affecOf mattin rise and soft emotions crowd
And The soul that listens to their tender
tions, of evangelical devotion. chime.
this is giving to that truth its proper And thus, while unpolluted altars stand,
direction, and its genuine influence. O'er time secure, and Christian ardour keep
Formal confessions of faith may serve The virtues of our glorious land alive,
to guide the understanding, and define Jehovah! still for us Thine arm will rule ; to the world our views of the Christian And Ocean, faithful to his island-born, system. But the incorporation of them Preserve the clime whose sceptre bows to into our required religious exercises; Thee !
the bringing of them, in solemn offerNor are these the only passages of ing, before the throne of grace; the beauty which might have been se
thus engaging, in their behalf, of the lected; but we have merely space to holiest, the purest, and the best affecobserve that the poem is a descriptive tions of our nature, most efficiently history of the Messiah, from the period
answers the great ends for which the when the Fall rendered the presence truths of our religion were revealed.” of a Redeemer necessary, to the final -P. 13. accomplishment of the great scheme of redemption on the cross.
A Grammar of Ancient Geography ;
compiled for the use of King's ColThe Character of the Protestant Epis- lege School. By Aaron ARROWcopal Church, in its prominent dis
SMITH, Hydrographer to the King, tinctive Features, considered in refe
and Member of the Royal Geograrence to its Duties thence resulting, in
phical Society. Under the Sanction a Primary Charge to the Clergy of
of the Council of King's College. of the Diocese of New York. By B.
London: S. Arrowsmith; and B. T. ONDERDONK, D.D. Bishop of the
Fellowes. 1832. Pp. vi. 330. A said Diocese, fc. fc. New York : Praxis on the above. Pp. 47. 1831. 8vo. Pp. 18.
Until this work appeared, Archdeacon The leading topics discussed in this Butler's Antient and Modern Geogracharge, are, " The establishment and phy was the best work of the kind exmaintenance of standards of faith ;" tant. The present appears, however, “ The conducting of public worship to us to be the completest thing of the according to a prescribed form;" and kind which we have seen; it is minute, “ The episcopal constitution of the without being tedious; and pleasing, ministry.” The brief notices we have, without digression; qualities of a high on previous occasions, taken of some order in a work intended for youth. few of the writings of this excellent The praxis consists of questions for prelate, which have incidentally reach- examination ; they may save some ed us, must have shewn our readers, trouble to a teacher, but the best praxis, that Bishop Onderdonk stands high in our opinion is, the extempore praxis in our estimation. We would only of a cross-examining teacher, who exaadd that a perusal of this charge mines without being cross.
When a proves the correctness of our anticipa- master understands the art of question that he would prove a worthy tioning, pupils soon learn to answer. successor of the estimable Hobart. Mr. Arrowsmith's name is a sufficient Our space precludes any lengthened guarantee for the goodness of the notice; but, in justice to the Bishop, work. It does full justice to him, and we cannot forbear extracting his sound great credit to the council of King's and orthodox argument in favour of College, all whose text-books, as yet our and his liturgy.
published, are excellent. The low “ Besides all the other strong rea- price of the book is another addition to sons which should commend it to our its value. We recommend it conscienlightened and devout regard, and entiously to all our friends, young or old.
Matt. xxvi. 19. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready
the Passover. AFTER the death of Joseph, and the king to whose favour his valuable services had recommended him, the descendants of Jacob were reduced to a state of the most abject servitude in Egypt. From this deplorable condition, God, in “the fulness of time,” resolved to deliver them, in order that he might put them in possession of the land of Canaan, which he had promised to their fathers. The successor, however, of their former patron upon the throne of Egypt, notwithstanding the repeated messages which were sent him, and the terrible manifestations of Divine authority by which those messages were accompanied, perversely refused to let them go. When, therefore, the Almighty had inflicted many and severe plagues upon Pharaoh and his people, without effectually softening the obduracy of that obstinate monarch's heart, he at length determined, by bringing upon them a more dreadful visitation than any which had preceded it, to accomplish the deliverance of the Israelites from their hard and cruel bondage.
With this view, he communicated to Moses his intention of slaying all the first-born, both of man and beast, throughout the land of Egypt. But, in order to prevent the decree from being executed upon the children of Israel as well as their oppressors, he commanded that a lamb should be slain in every family, and the blood of it sprinkled upon the door-posts of their houses ; so that when the destroying angel beheld the sign, he might pass over without injuring them. This lamb was, moreover, to be without blemish, a male of the first year; and they were enjoined to eat it, roasted, in the evening, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, to remind them of the severity of those toils and hardships, from which they were now about to be freed, and in the posture and habit of travellers, as prepared to commence their journey, as soon as the edict of their departure should issue from the terrified Pharaoh.
Such was the origin of the Jewish festival of the Passover, which derived its name from the fact of the angel's passing over their habitations, when he destroyed their enemies. And, thus instituted, it was appointed by God to be observed by the Jews in commemoration of this great deliverance," throughout their generations, as a feast, by an ordinance for ever.” It was the principal, and most honoured of the three great festivals, on which all the males were ordered to appear annually before the Lord ; first, in the place where the moveable tabernacle was set up, and afterwards in the temple at Jerusalem. And though, when we consider the vast number of Jews, who, in the later ages of their history, were settled in the most distant parts of the world, as well as the inability of the young and the old to undertake long journies, we cannot suppose that this law was strictly and literally complied with; still, it is certain that immense multitudes of them did flock from all quarters to the temple to keep this festival, in obedience to the command of God. Nor did the pious women absent themselves on such occasions ; for though they were under no express obligation to attend, yet we know, from the case of Hannah and the Virgin Mary, as well as from other sources, that many of them were in the habit of accompanying their husbands to the solemn feasts.
Our blessed Lord, who, whilst he was in the flesh, considered it his duty" to fulfil all righteousness,” never failed to observe this, as well as the other rites of the Jewish law. The Passover, mentioned in the text, was the last which he solemnized before his death. And as he came into the world, “not to destroy but to fulfil the law,” he now took occasion to complete and perfect that ordinance. For though the Passover was, in its first intention, designed to commemorate the temporal deliverance of the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt; it was also emblematical of a much greater deliverance, -that of a lost world from the bondage of sin. The paschal lamb, moreover, was a significant type of the immaculate Saviour himself—" the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world :” and the blood, which was sprinkled on the door-posts, aptly represented that “ blood of sprinkling," through whose saving efficacy alone we escape the penalty of eternal death. When, therefore, Jesus sat down now for the last time, to partake of the paschal supper with his disciples, as he knew that the accomplishment of all things concerning himself was at hand, he naturally directed their thoughts from the shadow to the substance. With this view, when he had blessed the bread and wine, which the Jews of that time were accustomed to partake of at their paschal supper, after a solemn thanksgiving to God for all his mercies, but especially the deliverance from Egypt, he bid them, henceforward, partake of those elements, as memorials of his body which was to be broken, and of his blood which was to be shed for them; and in grateful recollection of the spiritual deliverance derived to mankind from his death and passion :-"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat, this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins."
Such was the primary institution of the Lord's Supper—that Christian banquet, of which St. Paul appears to speak when he says, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast.” And from that time to the present, with some trifling exceptions, it has been kept by Christians of all denominations, thus "shewing the Lord's death till he come.” Nor has the observance of it been usually considered binding upon the followers of Jesus merely as an act of obedience to the dying injunction of their Master, or as an act of thankful remembrance for his inestimable love in laying down his life for them, but, further, as an especial means of grace, whereby they may obtain for themselves a participation in those great blessings which his obedience unto death has procured for us. “ The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ ?"
And how simple and easy is this rite. Truly, the "service” of Christ" is perfect freedom;"_" his commandments are not grievous." What is it that is here required of us? Is the task, which is here imposed upon us, one that is laborious and difficult to be performed ? Compare it with the Jewish festival which it has superseded. Are we called upon, as the Jews were, however poor, to be at the cost of providing ourselves with a lamb for its solemnization? Are we called upon to undergo the expense and fatigue of a long and irksome journey. Are we called upon to absent ourselves from our homes and our families for a considerable length of time, in order to its observance ? No. In this highly-favoured Christian country there is no single or solitary temple to which we are required to resort for the performance of our religious duties; but in every town, in every parish, in the most remote, as well as the most frequented places, there are houses of God, in which he has “placed his name ;" and where his ears are ever open to the devout prayers and praises of his people, and his eyes bent with pleasure upon those sacrifices of the heart, which are there offered to him. Surely, then, it might reasonably be expected that this rite would be readily and thankfully observed by Christians.
But, alas ! those means of procuring the divine blessings which are easiest to be performed, are not always the most highly valued. The instance of Naaman is a case in point: in the pride of his heart, the haughty Syrian would have turned away in disgust and indignation, from the waters of Jordan ; and thus might have gone down a leper to his grave, had not his wiser servants persuaded him to obey the simple injunction of Elisha—"My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldst thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash and be clean ?" And the same thing happens with regard to the Lord's supper. What is the language in which it addresses us? “Come, buy and eat, without money, and without price.” And yet how sadly, how lamentably is it disregarded!
What would those pious Jews, of olden times, who beheld in their institutions "the shadows of good things to come;" who loved to trace out, amid the types and figures of their law, the blessings of the gospel revelation ;-what would they say, if they could arise from their graves, to witness the deplorable neglect with which the easy ordinances of Christianity are treated ? How would their hearts be filled with sorrow when they recollected the crowds of zealous worshippers that thronged their temple at the paschal feast, and then beheld the altars of a better dispensation deserted at the Christian festivals ; and to see so many Christians, refusing to commemorate the deliverance from sin and death, which they profess to have been wrought out for them by Jesus Christ, in that way which he himself has expressly appointed for the purpose ?
And what is the reason why this simple ordinance of Christ—why this effectual means of grace, is thus slighted and set at nought? Is it that men really conceive it to be of no material consequence, whether or not they obey the dying command of their Master; or that they see
no occasion for those benefits, which the faithful may hope to enjoy from receiving this sacrament ? Many there are, indeed, it is to be feared, who, in this as in every other instance of a Christian's duty, wilfully and wickedly contemn the requirements of religion. They live for the world alone,-they care not for the salvation of their souls,- their “god is their belly, their glory is in their shame, they mind earthly things.” But there are many also, who are far from being justly classed with the obstinate contemners of God's law,- persons who are not utterly regardless of their spiritual concerns,—who are even desirous to secure the salvation of their souls,—that nevertheless contrive to silence their consciences for the neglect of their duty in this particular. And by what casuistry do they manage this? enter into conversation with them on this subject, they tell us that they do not consider themselves good enough to partake of the sacrament; or they are afraid of committing sin after receiving it; or they are too much engaged at present in the concerns of the world; or they are merely delaying it till a more suitable opportunity ; or they are too young as yet to receive it. But how vain and insufficient are all such excuses ! Let them be fairly tried by the test of right reason ; let them be carefully “ weighed in the balance of the sanctuary;" and they will be found miserably wanting.
And first, some men say, they are not good enough to receive it. Now if this be really the case, as they value the eternal welfare of their souls, it is undoubtedly their duty to lose no time in making themselves better. But if this sense of their own unworthiness arises from a better source,-if it may be traced to those humbling views of their own deficiencies in the sight of heaven which are inculcated by our holy religion, such a feeling, so far from keeping them away from the Lord's table, should rather carry them thither. For the state of mind which is here supposed, is that with which God is well pleased : “ Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly; but the proud he knoweth afar off :"_"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Besides, this sacrament was never intended for angels or glorified saints-for those who alone can justly lay claim to perfection-but expressly for sinners, penitent sinners, such as the best of men must, more or less, continue to be, until they have "finished their course” of trial upon earth, and passed that dark “valley of the shadow of death," which separates time from eternity. Accordingly, the most advanced Christian does not "presume to approach the Lord's table, trusting in his own righteousness, but in God's manifold and great mercies." He frankly and freely acknowledges that he is "not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under the table," and throws himself for favour and acceptance entirely upon the loving-kindness of Him, “whose property is always to have mercy.”
Again, others say, they are deterred from communicating, through the fear of committing sin after receiving the sacrament. And are we then to imagine that such sins are altogether unpardonable—that they can never be washed away by the blood of atonement ? If this were the case it would be well indeed to abstain from this rite. But it cannot be; because our compassionate Redeemer, who "came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them,” would then have hung a deadly millVOL. XIV.