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majority of believers, of a pious, venerable and Apostolick institution. The question indeed very naturally occurs, whether by this course she does not afford a stricter example of obedience to the oracles of God, than those various orders of sectarians, who have combined to lay it aside, as a thing of naught. The question very naturally occurs, and the answer cannot be mistaken; although it is perhaps better to waive a more explicit reply, lest in asserting the greater purity of our revered Zion, I should be thought to criminate the motives, as well as the practice of our fellow Christians; when He, who searcheth the heart and trieth the reins, well knows, that had I the mantle of Elijah, I would gladly convert it into a robe of charity, and extend its shadow to the four corners of the earth; there being much to esteem, and much to love among our brethren of other folds.

And yet, so long as it is apparent in the nature of things, that the most High God must be more pleased with sincerity in the way of truth, than with sincerity in that of errour: So long it is our duty to hold fast to the altar, the worship, the ministry of our protestant episcopal Church; and so long should it be our pleasure to conform ourselves, with reverent submission, to all the pious usages and institutions, which have been perpetuated within her sanctuary from the very period, when they were first established by the inspired wisdom and authority of the holy Apostles.

It is in this manner, that we shall outwardly exhibit to the world our attachment to the injunctions of our divine Lord and Master. It is in this manner, that the unconfirmed, if they possess a true and lively faith in the efficacy of his redemption, will embrace the earliest opportunity of repairing to his authorized ambassadors, and like the converts of Samaria, and the disciples of Ephesus, reap the spiritual benefits attending the imposition of their hands, even those blessed gifts of the Spirit, which were once known to have accompanied the ceremony, as it is written, "Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost." AMEN.

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ISAIAH Ixii. 1.

For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.

IF there are any persons upon the face of the globe, calling. themselves Christians, who profess to discard the assembling of themselves together, for the avowed object of worshipping the Lord God of their fathers, if there are any such persons I am ignorant of their existence. I know not the sect to which they belong. Their numbers must be too insignificant to require a passing notice from the most zealous defenders of our formularies of publick worship. Infidels are in this respect the only opposers, the sole deriders of a species of devotion commended to every man's conscience by the authentick words of scripture, and to the propriety of whose observance, both Jews and Christians have from the earliest times united in bearing their decided testimony. Here, with the true followers of the Lamb, there is no diversity of sentiment. All concur in advocating the publick worship of God. All esteem it one of the most essential features of a religious life. All, who recognise the holy sabbath as a divine institution, devote some portion of its sacred hours, openly and avowedly, to the reasonable service of their Great Creator and Almighty Friend.

They differ indeed, as to the mode of conducting the ceremony. Unhappily for the peace and prosperity of Zion, they agree not as to the posture of the body during its performance, whether it should be bowed down or erect; nor as to the spiritual part, whether it should be with precomposed or with extemporary prayers. It is even too true to be seriously denied, that there is scarcely an epithet of derision or of reproach, which has not been liberally applied to all those publick forms and ceremonies, which have for ages prevailed in the Church, as peculiarly appropriate in the expression of

human homage and human dependence. I will not repeat one from the long and disgraceful catalogue. They must be familiar to your recollection, and have doubtless proved among the most successful weapons, which have been brandished against us by the art and subtlety of man's device. I prefer a more calm and dispassionate investigation, than would be likely to result from the refutation of coarse invective, and, must I say it, of the grossest ribaldry. I prefer, with the scriptures in my hand, with reason in my mouth, and the temper becoming the minister of the lowly Jesus in my heart; I prefer with these, to defend and vindicate all the usages of our much injured Church, in her house of prayer and praise.

To begin with the subject of least comparative importance; I fear that many zealous religionists have not hesitated to condemn every organized mode of bodily worship, or at best, that they have so simplified and cramped exteriour reverence, that the bare powers of vision would often fail to instruct us, as to the precise nature of their assemblies, whether they were collected together, as listeners or as worshippers. But that nothing, wearing the semblance of indifference, should take place in outward devotion, reason itself combines with the voice of scripture, and proclaims its impropriety upon the clearest and most satisfactory grounds.

We are certainly, as much indebted to the goodness of God for the formation of the body, as for that of the soul, and they are equally and inseparably connected in the obligations resulting from the continued preservation of life and happiness. Ought there not then to be an united expression of gratitude and adoration; an expression as visible to the eye, as audible to the ear? Shall the body receive good at the hand of the Lord, shall it be fed, and clothed, and sustained in sickness and in health, and still refer the solemn act of returning homage to the soul alone? Forbid it nature, whose sympathies, pervading untaught the bosom of her meanest children, invariably produce some external mark and gesture of humility towards the object of their prevailing hopes and fears. Forbid it civilized society, whose constant solicitude it is to render significant tokens of honour in the presence of those, whom either the endowments of the mind, or the virtues of the heart; whom even the fortune of arms, the glitter of wealth, or the pomp and circumstance of office have enabled to reach an elevated rank in the scale of being. And shall we not, with these things perpetually occurring before


our eyes, freely admit, that the Creator of the universe, He, in whom the body lives, and moves, and has its being, possesses some substantial claims upon its pious reverence? Shall we not cheerfully concede, that it is very meet, and right, and our bounden duty, in our intercourse with his sacred courts, to adopt such corporeal postures, as will clearly evince our solemn belief of his own inspired annunciation, " Here will I dwell?"

Surely, Brethren, it is a conduct so natural and becoming, so strikingly expedient and praiseworthy, that I am lost in astonishment, whenever I reflect that the external religious ceremonies of our Church were among the motes and eyesores most bitterly inveighed against in the days of puritanical schism and intolerance. We are too frail in our natures, too wayward in our fancies, to rely entirely upon the good desires and dispositions of the soul, and consequently publick worship to be celebrated in the beauty of holiness requires all the extrinsick aid, within the compass of our ability to employ.

Accordingly we find, that all the holy men of God, whose praise is in the scriptures ever resorted to some devotional attitudes or other, as useful auxiliaries to the spirit, in offering up the sacrifices of prayer and praise. The spreading forth of the hands unto the Lord in the heavens, was observed by Moses, after one of his interviews with the prevaricating Pharaoh; by David, when his soul was famished in a dry and thirsty land; and by the wisest of men, when in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, he dedicated the temple, which was filled with the excellent glory. The prostration of the body, or falling upon the face, was also practised by the Jewish lawgiver, when for the space "of forty days and forty nights," he "did neither eat bread nor drink water, because of the sins" of the people, and by the holy Job, when informed of the loss of his substance, and the untimely death of his children. For he "arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, and said," "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taaway; blessed be the name of the Lord."


Nor in this enumeration, let me fail to remind you, that genuflection or the bending of the knee, a position so humbly adopted by the Church, is amply supported in sacred writ, by the authority of the psalmist, who exhorting all the people to the worship of God exclaimed, "Q come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel be

fore the Lord our Maker:" By the authority of Daniel, who regularly "kneeled upon his knees, three times a day, and prayed:" By the authority of the protomartyr Stephen; for, commending his spirit to the Lord Jesus, and imploring the pardon of his murderers," he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge:" By the authority of Peter and Paul, who severally "kneeled down and prayed;" the one, when reanimating the corpse of the much lamented Tabitha, and the other, when bidding a last affectionate adieu to those weeping elders of Ephesus, who were to see his face no more:" By the authority of the blessed Saviour of sinners himself, who in the garden of Gethsemane, when his soul was "exceeding sorrowful, even unto death," according to St. Luke, "kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done."


Thus then, the holy scriptures present us with the most unexceptionable testimony in favour of external worship, without recurring to the rites and ceremonies enjoined upon the Jewish Church. All the holy men that I have instanced, together with their Master, in the most interesting situations that can be imagined, neglected not to precede their addresses to the throne of grace, with a corresponding corporeal act of devotion. If their wants were ever so urgent, if their danger ever so imminent, still before presuming to implore the interference of heaven, they spread abroad the hands; they fell upon the face; they kneeled,

Let it not therefore be thought beneath the dignity of Christians to follow their example, Let it not be doubted, but that such expressive demonstrations have a powerful influence in promoting intense and fervent supplication and prayer. If the structure of our edifices be such, as to make it inconvenient to fall upon the face, we can yet fall upon our knees, when we are, or ought to be, confessing our sins; when we are interceding for their pardon, and invoking all those mercies and blessings, which we are imboldened to seek for, in the name, and through the merits and mediation of our Saviour Christ. A sitting posture is certainly less becoming and reverent. I know indeed, that David is once represented to have "sat before the Lord," and prayed, and that Nehemiah " sat down, and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven." But before these examples can be fairly cited

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