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ance; and forgive us all our sins, negligen. ces, and ignorances; and endue us with the grace of his Holy Spirit, that we may amend our lives according to his holy word." Amen and Amen.
Deut. V. 28, 29. They have well said all that they have spar
ken: 0 that there were such an heart in them!
THE further we proceed in the investi. gation of our Liturgy, the more we feel the difficulty of doing justice to it. Such is the spirit which it breathes throughout, that if only a small measure of its piety existed in all the different congregations in which it is used, we should be as holy and as happy a people, as ever the Jews were in the most distinguished periods of their history. If this object has not been yet attained, it is not the fault of our Reformers: they have done all that men could do, to transmit to the latest posterity the blessings which they themselves had received : and there is not a member of our Church who has not rea. son to bless. God every day of his life for their labours. But they knew that it would be to little purpose to provide suitable forms of prayer for every different occasion, if they did not also secure, as far as human wisdom could secure, a succession of men, who, actuated by the same ardent piety as themselves, should perform the different offices to the greatest advantage, and carry on by their persona) ministrations the blessed work which they had begun. Here therefore they bestowed the utmost care; marking with precision what were the qualifications requisite for the ministerial office, and binding in the most solemn manner all who should be consecrated to it, to a diligent and faithful discharge of their respective duties.
When we first spake of the Liturgy, we proposed, after vindicating its use, and displaying its excellency, to direct your attention to one particular part, which on that account we should reserve for a distinct and fuller consideration. The part we had in view was, The Ordination Service. We are aware indeed that, in calling your at.
tention so particularly to that, we stand on delicate ground: but being aware of it, we shall take the greater care that no one shall have reason to complain of want of delicacy. It is the candour that has invariably manifested itself in this congregation, that emboldens me to bring this subject before you. Any attempt to discuss the merits of the Liturgy would indeed be incomplete, if we omitted to notice that part, which so pre-eminently displays its highest excellencies, and is peculiarly appropriate to the audience which I have the honour to address. I trust therefore I shall not be thought as. suming, as though I had any pretensions to exalt myself above the least and lowest of my brethren. I well know, that, if my own deficiencies were far less than they are, it would ill become me to take any other than the lowest place; and much more, when I am conscious that they are so great and manifold. For my own humiliation, no less than that of others, I enter on the task; and I pray God, that, whilst I am shewing what our Reformers inculcated as pertain
ing to the pastoral office, we may all apply the subject to ourselves, and intreat help from God, that, as “ó we have well said all that we have spoken, so there may be in us such an heart."
There are three things to be noticed in the Ordination Service, Our professions, our promises, and our prayers : after considering which, we shall endeavour to excite in all that desire, which God has so tenderly, and so affectionately, expressed in our behalf.
Let me begin then with calling your at.. tention to the professions which we make, when first we become candidates for the ministerial office.
So sacred was the priesthood under the Law, that no man presumed to take it upon himself but he who was called to it by God, as Aaron was. And though the priesthood of our blessed Lord was of a totally distinct kind from that which shadowed it forth,