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ually settled into positive infidelity. At Lausanne, however, he read with diligence and success, and laid the foundation of his future learning. In 1758, his father allowed him to return to England. His first work (Essai sur l'Etude de la Littérature) which had been commenced at Lausanne, and was published in 1761, is a proof not only of his intimate acquaintance with the French language, but of his acquirements and talents.

In 1763 he again visited the continent. He then became acquainted with Paris, and made the tour of Italy. "It was at Rome, on the 15th October, 1764, as he sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol," that he first conceived the idea of writing on the decline and fall of the capital of the world. Several other subjects, however, presented themselves to his mind as fit subjects for a historical composition. For several years he was too much engaged in society and intercourse with his family to find leisure for regular study. After the death of his father in 1770, he was several years in parliament; and it was not until 1776 that he published the first volume of the "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."

His great work had, however, for some time before been the chief business of his life. He was engaged upon it with more or less activity from 1768 to 1787. The first three volumes, and the greater part of the fourth, were written in London, the remainder of the work at Lausanne, where he chiefly resided during the last ten years of his life. He returned, however, to England, upon a visit to his intimate friend, Lord Sheffield, in 1793, and died in London on the 16th of January, 1794.

The character of Gibbon, as it is exhibited by his autobiography and letters, reflects much light upon his writings. He has himself enabled us to describe him as a man of a cold and phlegmatic temperament, who was impelled to exertion only by motives of vanity and selfishness. If his life was marked by no flagrant irregularities, it is clear from his own account that the decency of his conduct did not proceed from any principle of conscience, or any feeling for moral beauty. For learning, indeed, and a general acquaintance with literature, he must be ranked among the very first of his contemporaries. He had great natural sagacity; he had an inexhaustible thirst for knowledge; and was at once ingenious and diligent. But he had no dignity of mind, no elevation nor warmth of sentiment, no purity nor delicacy of taste. His knowledge of mankind was derived from a corrupt state of society, and from a corrupt heart. Self-devotion and disinterestedness were things beyond his comprehension; he could scarcely realise the possibility even of sincere belief; and virtue he regarded as an empty name.

His history largely partakes of the peculiarities of his moral and intellectual character. It is rich in various learning. It abounds in sagacious and acute reflections; but it is loaded with excessive ornament. It is absolutely destitute of moral purpose. It never rises beyond the material and visible. It constantly seeks to depress what is noble and lofty, while it places in strong relief whatever is mean and disgusting. Instead of endeavouring to inculcate some great ethical lesson, it only strives to confound the distinction between vice and virtue, and utterly to extinguish all respect for religion.

obtained among the Frenchmen of the eighteenth century. Thucydides and Tacitus had indeed painted the hearts of men, and disclosed the secret springs of events, but it was after having carefully studied the originals. They wrote of men who were still well remembered, or were actually their contemporaries. The first Frenchman of an enlightened age needed not this tedious and modest process. With the telescope of philosophy he might explore at will what was most remote in time or place, and tell others all that it was worth their while to know, without the vulgar aid of observation or learning. The laws of nature were always uniform, and men were always men, and men were, of course, always savages or Frenchmen. He wanted no other principles to know with positive certainty how and why they acted. Bare facts only served to load the memory, and enfeeble the understanding. His only was the way of studying history to advantage. It was only when expounded by the philosopher, that it afforded any thing worth knowing by one who aspired to the dignity of a man. The novelty of this method, the reputation of its inventor, and the general sciolism, procured for it no little popularity. Acute and sober men were dazzled by its pretensions. Hume and Robertson had already naturalised it-purified, however, from its more flagrant absurdities-in the literature of Britain, when Gibbon caught the contagion, and aspired to the rank of a pragmatical historian.

Yet Gibbon was something more than a mere disciple of the historical school of Voltaire. He was well aware of its deficiencies. In his diffusive reading he had acquired no ordinary amount of erudition. From the time he had chosen the subject of his work, he was eagerly engaged in the pursuit of the right materials. He knew what the historian had to do. He made it his business to find his way to the best information. His knowledge was perhaps often derived in the first instance from secondary writers-he freely confesses his obligations to Tillemont-but he generally verified important facts by referring to the sources, and he was rarely unacquainted with the discoveries of modern learning.

His learning, indeed, was his strongest point. His perseverance and sedentary industry well fitted him to make himself master of the information necessary for his subject. His private means enabled him to obtain books, and he was moreover generally in situations where he had access to public libraries. It could not be asserted that he was a scholar in the highest sense of the term. He had not the finish and accuracy which can be attained only by those who pursue learning as a profession. But he was most intimately acquainted with the materials of history. No one who has gone over the ground he professes to have surveyed can help seeing that he has been there before him. Students who are engaged in a particular inquiry may find much which has eluded his observation, but they will generally be surprised to find how much he knew. His references are frequently ostentatious, sometimes irrelevant, sometimes not strictly accurate; but what we find to complain of in them must usually be laid to other accounts, they do not go to impeach his learning.

The subject on which his acquirements were employed was a noble one. History does not present any thing more memorable than the decay and extinction of ancient civilisation. "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," as a work of art, is well conceived, and executed with a rare ability. The distribution is felicitous, the composition is striking; notwithstanding the defects in drawing and perspective, it has an air of grandeur; and though the parts are often strangely out of proportion, we are scarcely sensible of a want of harmony in the whole. The great fault is, that it is so artificial. You scarcely ever lose the artist, and art is obtrusive every where. The style is affected and laboured to a degree positively offensive. There is no variety of construction or manner. There is a total

Voltaire had introduced a new method of historical composition. He had presumed to summon the past to the bar of the present, and to arraign it upon the enactments of an arbitrary ex post facto legislation. Under pretence of tracing the philosophy of history, he measured the men and things of other times by the standard of modern civilisation, and ventured to pronounce upon the probability or improbability of the testimony of contemporary authors, and to assign the motives which actuated the men of distant ages and countries, solely with reference to the principles which

absence of nature. The ornaments are all of the most gaudy and meretricious sort. We are displeased at once by effort and insipidity.

It was in the highest qualifications of the historian that Gibbon was most deficient. He had no large views, nor lofty feelings. He could not disengage himself from the narrow circle of manners and fashion, nor sympathise with the genuine feelings of the human heart. He knew nothing of man as a moral being. His imagination was inflamed only by material objects. He was not awed by the sublimity of virtue; he felt no tenderness for human infirmities. He regarded what was morally great and disinterested with invincible scepticism, while he received with vulgar credulity every insinuation of evil.

But it is the malign aspect of his work towards Christianity and morality which constitutes its great fault, and renders it dangerous and noxious. Whatever may have been his motives, it is quite certain that he constantly makes it his business to treat the Gospel as a fable, and to sneer at the very idea of virtue. Every thing connected with revealed religion is exhibited in the light in which it may be regarded by a captious adversary. Though he did not in the remainder of his undertaking introduce any attack so direct as that which is contained in the last two chapters of his first volume, he never ceased to insinuate that Christianity was a mere system of imposture, devised by priests, and believed only by fanatics. He possessed in perfection the art which had been so successful in the hands of the French infidels, of conveying by insinuations and sarcasm opinions and sentiments which it was not convenient openly to avow. Without leaving the subject he has in hand, he can always find occasion to suggest doubts and ridicule. When the outline of the likeness he is painting is correct and accurate, he can produce the most objectionable effects by the choice of attitude and expression, and especially by colouring. Often, when we cannot deny the resemblance, we can say emphatically that it conveys a false or most inadequate conception of the original. Mahomet is painted with all the luxuriance of Venetian art; Cyril and Bernard are rude caricatures. Constantine and Theodosius are heavy and ungracious; while all the resources of his skill are lavished upon Julian. Thus the reader of the "Decline and Fall is defrauded of the fruits of human experience, and receives a deadly poison instead of the precious nourishment which is the natural produce of history, and especially of the history of the Church.

It is really curious to observe how thoroughly Gibbon's work is saturated with his infidelity. The venom has been distilled into every part. His scepticism, and malevolence, and impurity, meet us every where. It is strange that any one could ever have supposed it possible to counteract its mischievous tendency by controverting particular statements, or refuting particular views. It is not easy to conceive how any one could read it, and fancy that any good could be done in this way. It mocks such an antidote. No one could make it any thing else than an infidel book without actually taking it to pieces. Little is gained even by expunging the most obnoxious passages; for an epithet sometimes presents a licentious picture, a conjunction often suggests an embarrassing doubt.

If these remarks have given a fair character of this celebrated work, it is almost needless to deduce a formal conclusion. In such case there can be but one opinion. It must be regarded as an anti-christian book, which exhibits great powers misemployed, and which no one can read but at his peril. If the estimate now attempted of its literary value be at all correct, the young and inexperienced student may well spare it from his library. It is not less calculated to vitiate his taste, and to weaken his judgment, than to corrupt his moral and religious principles. A spacious field of historical reading is open to him, in which he may

safely expatiate. He will be better employed in qualifying himself to obtain genuine information, than in perusing the "History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."

SACRED POETRY.

BY JAMES CHAMBERS, ESQ.
No. IV.
Wither.

PERHAPS no poetry ever received such unmerited neglect as that of this author. The popularity which it enjoyed on its first publication soon died away; and from that period to the present time, contumely and scorn have been its only portion. His own political heresies, and the violent party-feelings of the times in which he lived, blinded the judgment of his contemporaries to the real merits of his compositions; while more modern critics have probably often pronounced a judgment, without sufficiently examining the volumes they condemn. Among others who thus indulged in vituperations against Wither and his poetry, were Wood, Heylin, Butler, Philips, Dryden, Swift, and Pope;† while Bishop Percy, Ritson, and D'Israeli deal out such qualified praise, as almost amounts to censure. Though this array of opposing critics is truly formidable, I yet hope to convince my readers that George Wither merits a more honourable appellation than that of "a prosing satirist," or the "English Bavius." §

One great poet and distinguished scholar of modern times has done him justice. It has ever been the delight of Dr. Southey to rescue the fruits of genius from that oblivion which time heaps upon them, and to clear away the tangling weeds and wild briar from many a neglected grave in the burial-ground of the earlier poets. With his usual discernment, he has perceived in these poems || a felicity of expression, a tenderness of feeling, and an elevation of mind;" and with his usual fearlessness, he has dared to avow it.

66

I proceed to consider those of Wither's works which entitle him to the character of a sacred poet. I have already mentioned that he composed the "Shepherds Hunting" when in prison. The following extract

We cannot let the opportunity pass of saying that the recent edition by Milman is at least equally objectionable with any former one. Mr. Milman's notes-we speak deliberately-are far from correcting, they sometimes sanction, sometimes add to the errors of Gibbon. This edition is also singularly incorrect in its typography.-ED. CHURCH OF ENGLAND MAGAZINE. ↑ Willmott, vol. i. pp. 61, 62.

I D'Israeli.

§ Ritson.

"Lives of Uneducated Poets."

¶ It is interesting to observe how many works of merit have been composed in exile or imprisonment: at such seasons the mind is not distracted by the petty cares or anxieties of everyday life, and it is urged to vigorous exertion by the necessity of banishing those melancholy contemplations, which would otherwise be ever present to the thoughts of the captive. No situation can be more favourable for cultivating the energies, or eliciting the powers of a great mind. Boethius wrote his "Consolations of Philosophy" when contined, under sentence of death, in the castle of Pavia; Buchanan commenced his elegant translation of the Psalms in a dungeon at Coimbra, in Portugal; Christopher Smart wrote one of the most powerful lyrics in our poetry on the walls of a madhouse, where he was kept under restraint; Sir W. Raleigh's "History of the World" was written in the Tower; Bunyan's "wondrous allegory" in Bedford jail; James the First

from a hymn to which he alludes in eclogue the first, shews the poet "from seeming evil still educing good;" and we see him, in every stanza, turning the affliction of his body to the profit of his soul.

"Sweet are the uses of adversity,

Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in its head." ↑

Wither saw the circumstances and things by which he was surrounded as types of spiritual truths, and sweetly has he illustrated them:

First, think, my soul, if I have foes

That take a pleasure in my care,
And to procure these outward woes
Have thus enwrapt me unaware;

Thou should'st by much more careful be,
Since greater foes lay wait for thee.

By my late hopes, that now are crost,
Consider those that firmer be,

And make the freedom I have lost

A means that may remember thee;
Had Christ not thy Redeemer been,
What horrid state hadst thou been in!

Or when through me thou seest a man
Condemn'd unto a mortal death,
How sad he looks, how pale, how wan,
Drawing with fear his panting breath;
Think, if in that such grief you see,
How sad will 'Go, ye cursed,' be!

These iron chains, these bolts of steel,
Which often poor offenders grind,
The wants and cares which they do feel,
May bring some greater things to mind;
For by their grief thou shalt do well
To think upon the pains of hell.

Again, when he that fear'd to die,

(Past hope) doth see his pardon brought,

Read but the joy that's in his eye,

And then convey it to thy thought;

Then think, between thy heart and thee,

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How glad will Come, ye blessed,' be!"

Wither had, in his time, wielded the lash of satire with an unsparing hand. Many a stout heart had quailed in secret before the power and vigour with which he delineated Vice and her votaries. In his "Motto," which I consider by far the most delightful of his poems, he leaves the contemplation of the "outer world," and in solemn and profitable meditation turns "that inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude," upon his own soul. He aims at self-knowledge, and endeavours to trace the workings of that heart, which is "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked."

of Scotland, when detained as a prisoner at Windsor Castle, composed that beautiful poem, "The King's Quhair." The histories of Wither, Lady Jane Grey, and Lovelace, prove that, as the latter has sweetly sung,

"Stone walls do not a prison make,

Nor iron bars a cage;

Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage."

"He that first taught his music such a strain,
Was that sweet shepherd, who, until a king,

Kept sheep upon the honey-milky plain

That is enriched by Jordan's watering:
He in his troubles cased the body's pains
By measures raised to the soul's ravishing;
And his sweet numbers only most divine,
Gave the first being to this song of mine."

+ Shakespere.

Shepherds Hunting, eclogue i.

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So in this life, this grove of ignorance,
As to my homeward I myself advance,
Sometimes aright, and sometimes wrong I go,
Sometimes my pace is steady, sometimes slow;
One while my ways are pleasant unto me,
Another while as full of cares they be;

I doubt and hope, and doubt and hope again,
And many a change of passion I sustain
In this my journey, so that, now and then,
I lost, perhaps, may seem to other men;
Yea, to myself awhile, when sins impure
Do my Redeemer's love from me obscure:
But whatsoe'er betide, I know full well,
My Father, who above the clouds doth dwell,
An eye upon his wandering child doth cast,
And he will fetch me to my home at last."

In the four last beautiful lines we see him leaning with humble, yet firm confidence, on those everlasting arms of love which our heavenly Father spreadeth out beneath all them who "hope in his mercy."

The "Preparation for the Psalter" is a specimen of a commentary on the Psalms, which was never completed. The following stanzas, termed by him a sonnet, are prefixed: they form a free, but spirited, paraphrase of the 148th Psalm.

"Come, O come, with sacred lays

Let us sound the Almighty's praise,
Hither bring in true concent
Heart, and voice, and instrument;
Let the orpharion sweet

With the harp and viol meet,

To your voices tune the lute,
Let not tongue nor string be mute,
Nor a creature dumb be found,
That hath either voice or sound.

Let such things as do not live,
In still music praises give;
Lowly pipe, ye worms that creep
On the earth, or in the deep;
Loud aloft your voices strain,
Beasts and monsters of the main;
Birds, your warbling treble sing,
Clouds, your peals of thunder ring;
Sun and moon, exalted higher,
And you stars, augment the quire.
Come, ye sons of human race,
In this chorus take your place,
And amid this mortal throng,
Be you masters of the song;
Angels and celestial powers,
Be the noblest tenor yours;
Let, in praise of God, the sound
Run a never-ending round,
That our holy hymn may be
Everlasting, as is He.

From the earth's vast hollow womb,
Music's deepest base shall come,
Seas and floods, from shore to shore,
Shall the counter-tenor roar :
To this concert, when we sing,
Whistling winds your descant bring,
Which may bear the sound above,
Where the orb of fire doth move
And so climb from sphere to sphere,
Till our song the Almighty hear.

So shall He, from heaven's high tower,
On the earth his blessings shower;

All this huge wide orb we see,
Shall one quire, one temple be;
There our voices we will rear,
Till we fill it every where,

And enforce the fiends that dwell

In the air to sink to hell;

Then, O come with sacred lays,
Let us sound th' Almighty's praise."

His "Songs and Hymns of the Church" are mcre generally known than any other of his productions. Simple and affecting in themselves, they derive an additional interest from the circumstances under which they were composed. Alone and friendless in the solitary cell of a prison, he alleviated his sufferings by "rendering into lyric verse the hymns dispersed throughout the canonical Scriptures, to which he subsequently added spiritual songs, appropriated to the several times and occasions observable in the Church of England."

How often, when afterwards tossed in the troubled waters of political strife, must he have thought, with melancholy pleasure, on those profitable prison-labours, in the prosecution of which he had communed with his God in the silent watches of the night, and felt the holy dew of peace descend from on high to water and refresh his drooping soul.

Piety, simplicity, and pathos, are the prevailing characteristics of these prayers and praises: the Petition for Seasonable Weather is a fair example:

"Lord, should the sun, the clouds, the wind,

The air, and seasons be

To us so froward and unkind

As we are false to Thee,

All fruits would quite away be burn'd,

Or lie in water drown'd,

Or blasted be, or overturn'd,

Or chilled on the ground.

But from our duty though we swerve, Thou still dost mercy shew,

And deign thy creatures to preserve, That men might thankful grow; Yet though from day to day we sin, And thy displeasure gain,

No sooner we to cry begin,

But pity we obtain.

The weather now Thou changèd hast, That put us late to fear,

And when our hopes were almost past,

Then comfort did appear:

The heaven the earth's complaint hath heard,

They reconciled be;

And Thou such weather hast prepared,

As we desired of Thee.

In his "Improvement of Imprisonment," I find a touching supplication for his beloved wife and children, from which I extract some lines:

"And when Thou me shalt gather

Out of this land of life,

Be Thou my children's father,
A husband to my wife.

Preserve them from each folly, Which, ripening into sin, Makes root and branch unholy, And brings destruction in:

A precious relic of his anxiety for the spiritual welfare of his children will be found in Mr. Willmott's second volume, p. 178.

Let not this world bewitch them
With her besotting wine,
But let thy grace enrich them
With faith and love divine.
And whilst we live together,
Let us upon Thee call,
Help to prepare each other
For what may yet befall;
So just, so faithful-hearted,
So constant let us be,
That when we here are parted,
We may all meet in Thee."

"Halleluiah, or Britain's Second Remembrancer," is divided into three parts; the first containing hymns occasional, the second hymns temporary, the third hymns personal. The following piece for Anniversary Marriage - days presents a faithful transcript of his feelings towards her who had been the beloved partner of his joys and sorrows:

"Lord, living here are we,

As fast united yet,

As when our hands and hearts by Thee Together first were kuit;

And in a thankful song

Now we will sing Thy praise,

Because Thou dost as well prolong Our loving as our days.

The frowardness that springs
From our corrupted kind,

Or from those troublous outward things
Which may distract the mind,
Permit not thou, O Lord,

Our constant love to shake, Or to disturb our true accord, Or make our hearts to ache."

My quotations from the works of this interesting author have been rather long, but I would fain believe that every reader wishes they had been still longer. Of his version of the Psalms I cannot say so much as I could wish to have failed where the powers of a Milton were found inadequate, must not be considered a disgrace. His Emblems are interesting and instructive, no small praise for a work of that class. Of his poems generally it may be said, that, with little to astonish, they have much to please. In seasons when the sublime song of a Milton or Young falls unheeded on the ear, we find peace and joy in the simple strains of Wither: Mercy again appears arrayed in robes of compassion, and Hope relights her torch at his cheering lamp.

Garsden, 1839.

THE DUTY OF MAINTAINING CHURCH PRINCIPLES.*

BEFORE dismissing the subject of the uncompromising maintenance of principle in opposition to that which passes in the world for liberality, I must offer a very few observations relating to what are sometimes called the peculiarities of the established Church. I shall not occupy your time by an endeavour to refute the shallow and unscriptural notion, that Christian unity and charity consist in the establishment of a commodious sort of understanding among parties divided in religious communion, that they agree to differ. Certainly they ought to endeavour to live in peace, and in the interchange of all Christian good offices; and it is equally certain that each ought to rejoice in every

From the Bp. of Montreal's Charge at his Primary Visitation, 1838.

instance in which another may promote the cause of Christ, and be ready to put the most liberal construction (I do not avoid the use of the word, for true liberality is a beautiful feature of the Gospel) upon all the proceedings of separate bodies, or individuals belonging to them. We ought to honour and to imitate all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, although they walk not with us. And it would be as difficult to deny, as it would be criminal to wish to deny, that the blessing and grace of God is often with those whose ministry we regard as irregularly constituted. But with all this, I conceive that we place ourselves in a very false position, and fail to act, in one point, the part which God has assigned to us in the world, if ever we adopt that language, or lend ourselves to those proceedings in which the Church is regarded as a sect among sects. It is quite foreign to my purpose to argue here the question of episcopacy: but if we believe that the apostles founded and framed an episcopal Church; if we trace the plan of such a Church in the Scriptures; if, following up our inquiries, to throw light on the question by comparison of Scripture with early ecclesiastical records, we arrive at that conclusion which enables us, with the incomparable Hooker, to challenge the opponents of our system, that they shew but one Church upon the face of the whole earth, from the apostolic times to the Reformation, that was not episcopal; if all the remnants of ancient Churches now existing in the east have preserved this constitution from their beginning, and our own Church has opened interesting communications with them which may be designed to lead the way to their renovation in holy communion with ourselves; if the real strength of Rome consists only in the multiplied divisions and unseemly disarray of the Protestant Churches; if this can never be cured so long as the vicious principle is admitted that Christians may lawfully form new societies, and create new ministries, at will; if it was the singular blessing of our own, among other Churches, at the Reformation, to preserve the ancient order and the uninterrupted succession of her hierarchy; if, lastly, these principles are so pointedly recognised, so fully received and acted upon in her practice, that we accept the orders as valid of a Romish priest who recants, although we re-ordain all Protestant ministers who pass over to us from non-episcopal Churches;-then, with this chain of facts before our eyes, I do conceive that we are wanting alike in our consistency as churchmen, and our duty in the Church universal, if, swayed by the stream of prevailing opinion, studying an ill-understood popularity, or even prompted by an amiable spirit of conciliation, we consent to prejudice the exclusive character of our ministry, and voluntarily descend from the ground which we occupy with our people, and other Protestant episcopalians, as a distinct and peculiar body among the Churches.

And is this to exalt ourselves, and to preach ourselves instead of Christ Jesus our Lord? Far otherwise than this; if rightly considered, our claims to apostolic order and succession—as is well pointed out by a late excellent colonial prelate-should humble us in the dust, under a sense of the greatness of our calling so far above our worthiness and strength. Whatever affords a heightened view of the office which we hold, and the part which we have to sustain in the Church of God, can only, or should only, prompt us to deeper earnestness in seeking that sufficiency which is of him alone.

upon those institutions at home (foremost amongst which we must mention the venerable and munificent Societies for the Propagation of the Gospel and Promoting Christian Knowledge), and those endeavours upon the spot, of which it is the object to supply our destitute settlements! I am disposed also to think, and I shall take occasion, from our meeting, to follow up the suggestion, that we might, with much advantage, establish in this diocese a Church society, similar to that which has been framed under the auspices of an able and zealous bishop in the neighbouring diocese of Nova Scotia.

I bless God that there is not wanting good evidence among us of our having recourse to that sufficiency; but what a field is before us! how ought we each to labour that we may gather with our Lord, and how importunately to pray that more labourers may be sent forth into the ripening harvest which spreads itself around us!-that larger blessing may descend

• Heber.

In seeking to recommend the Church, according to our bounden duty, in the eyes of our own people or of others, and to give the fullest effect to the beautiful offices of her liturgy, there is a principle to be observed, of which I have taken notice upon former occasions in addressing my brethren in a different capacity, but which I am prompted briefly to touch upon, because it is in danger, from local circumstances, of partially falling into disregard,-I mean the principle of rendering the services of the Church more impressive by the manner of performing them, and by the exterior reverence and decorum with which they are clothed. The preface to the Common Prayer-book, the canons and the rubrics, more particularly in the communionoffice, afford sufficient evidence of the care which was wisely taken by our holy reformers, while they purged away from our worship the cumbrous pageantry of superstition, to preserve the utmost gravity, solemnity, and order in the public ministrations of the Church, and to shed over them a venerable air, fitted to remind men of the awe with which they should approach the things of God. The forms and ceremonies of the Church, the prescribed postures of worship, the habits of those who officiate, the vessels of the sanctuary, the several appendages and distinctions of our national Churches, are all designed to aid in this effect; and as servants of the Church, we ought to act in the spirit, and, wherever we can, according to the letter of her regulations. The disuse, upon the ordinary occasions of life, of a distinguishing ecclesiastical dress, is a departure from wise and venerable rules, from which our clergy ought never to take license to depart farther than, according to the now received usage, they are obliged to do. They should never betray a disposition to secularise the character and office which they hold. And in the actual performance of any ecclesiastical function, no deviation can be justified for which the plea of necessity cannot be advanced. No needless irregularity should be suffered to creep into our performance of official duty, which may settle by degrees into a precedent.

To pass, however, to considerations of a higher nature, I would observe, that among very many disadvantages attaching to our situation as a colonial branch of the Church, we have our advantages too; and it is not the least of these, that, in many parts of the diocese, we are less trammelled by circumstances in making an approach to that holy discipline, the restoration of which, according to the language of the Church herself, is "much to be wished." The existence of any such advantage ought to be turned to the utmost account. Instances have not been wanting in this diocese, in which communicants who have given scandal by some irregularity have made public reparation to the assembled company of worshippers;. and I cannot but commend the endeavour, which has been used with success by some of our clergy, to revive the practice enjoined in the Prayer-book, that persons desirous of presenting themselves at the Lord's Supper, at least unless they are accepted and constant communicants, should intimate their purpose beforehand to their pastor.

I could enlarge upon this topic, and there are others which I could wish to notice, particularly the

Commination-office.

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