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needful. And further, our prayers must be offered up not only with this object, but with an earnest and sincere desire to attain it: they must be offered up faithfully.” We must really mean what we say: the heart must feel what the lips utter. In a matter so weighty, we must neither deceive ourselves nor mock our God. Faithfulness must stamp our prayer. But if prayer be thus offered—in the name of the Son of God, and agreeably to the truth of the Spirit of God-who shall doubt but that it will “effectually be obtained," and its twofold object be gained ? necessity—though we be by nature sinful and weak and ignorantand unworthy--willof grace s be relieved,” and “the glory of our God be set forth” before men; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
“ The peace of God,
and remain with you alway?.”
The devout communicants being now warmed with fresh zeal in the service of God and of his Christ;
This form of blessing is most truly and eminently scriptural ; embracing the various forms scattered in different parts of holy writ. "On this wise,”—saith the Lord to Moses, speaking in the name of the Holy Trinity, three times declaring blessing from Jehovah,“on this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee and keep thee ; the Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee ; the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace*.”—As God the Father there left his blessing, so God the Son, sympathizing with the afflicted hearts of his faithful disciples, saddened as they were in the prospect of his removal from them, left on record his promise, and blesses us
* Numbers vi. 24.
their minds girded up by prayer with high resolve, as soldiers of the cross, to fight manfully under the banner of Christ against sin, the world, and the devil'; the Church dismisses them with a blessing, which thrills every heart; and which, as including their loved children, can never be heard by parents without feelings of the liveliest love, and joy, and gratitude. This peace is for them for them, in whose welfare ever lies a Parent's highest interest. How can parents not love God, who vouchsafes to their children all his own sure and holy peace of mind'! How forbear to rejoice in knowing that, through the sacrifice they have now commemorated, to their children is a serenity which the world can neither give, nor take away! How withhold the most ardent gratitude to the Giver of this happy calm, which is as far beyond their understanding to comprehend, as heaven is higher than earth! O who shall tell its power to stay the mind amid the tumult of temptations and struggles in this stormy world'! who duly estimate its influence in nerving the heart to duty, and sustaining its allegiance to its Saviour and its God! With what ardent desire do you, a mother, catch the joyful sound, and echo its supplication from your heart, that to these dear ones may be so vouchsafed this holy peace and so continued to them, that it “ keep their hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.”
and is gracious unto us : “ Peace I leave with you ; my peace I give unto you ; not as the world giveth, give I unto you : let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid*.”—As God the Father and God the Son vouchsafe blessing, so is blessing vouchsafed also by God the Holy Ghost, who secures to us a continuance of this heavenly peace ; for, with this special object in view, He is to abide with us for evert.-Hence the apostle, strong in faith, and glowing with all his characteristic ardour of feeling and energy of expression, bids his dear Philippians, to cast from them all overweening care for things of this world, and “in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, to let their requests be made known unto God ;" for then he argues, “ the peace of God which passeth all understanding”—it is given by the Spirit of God !—“shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus I."
1 At the holy communion we do in fact renew from time to time both the obligation and the privileges of our baptismal covenant,
2 Parents know, from their own experience, that to trust for peace to the world, is indeed to lean upon a broken reed.
* John xiv. 27.
+ John xiv. 16.
# Phil, iv. 7.
Is not this a transcript of your mother-feelings?
But as the Church receives us at first into her bosom in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, so in the same great name she dismisses us,
when again we leave her sheltering wing to mingle with the world. She pronounces upon her faithful children “the blessing of God Almighty ; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost ; to be amongst them, and remain with them always—" the Father blessing them by the goodness of his providence ; keeping them in all their ways, both in their going out and in their coming in-the Son blessing them by the power of his word and the benefits of his intercession; guiding them into the way of peace, and making that their prayers reach even to the mercy seat—the Holy Ghost blessing them, by sanctifying their thoughts, giving wisdom to their words, ordering aright their actions, comfort
1 Agreeably to the majestic and illustrative language of sacred poetry, this peace it is, by which God “stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind.” Is. xxvii. 8.
ing them in their sorrows; and in this his gracious office abiding with them for ever! Mother !-if thou who now readest these
art a mother-be thy state in this life what it may, the highest or the lowest ; can thy mother's heart dream of aught better worth for which to pray on thy child's behalf than this, the peace of God? Remember its value—it alone can bring peace at the last.
THE SOLEMNIZATION OF MATRIMONY.
THE OPENING ADDRESS.
The object of this little work being to render what help it may towards the better understanding, and more fully appreciating the value of the occasional services of our Church, pointing out the admirable manner in which they are calculated to lead the mind aright on the particular occasions for which they are severally prepared ; my task is rendered easier by the peculiar tone and temper which pervade those services, and the unassuming spirit in which the Church offers them for our adoption. It is evident throughout, that whilst she would enforce upon others the doctrines which she herself holds, and which, being invested with authority thereto, she calmly but firmly declares to be the truth as it is in Christ Jesus; she is guiltless of presumption. Do any reject her view of God's word and will ? she laments that rejection ; but she is in charity with all. If, with respect to the ordinance of marriage, some prefer the colder and unedifying course of making it a civil contract only,
with them she interferes not; but she does in a truly Scriptural and noble manner meet the views, and sympathize with the feelings of those who are already in communion with her, and who, drawing their views of duty in this world and their hopes of happiness in the next from the same eternal source with herself, even the word of God, gladly receive the guidance and sustaining help, she so affectionately offers'. In addressing them, she takes for granted evangelical principles, and strives to confirm themshe presupposes the feeling, and lends her aid to regulate it. As she would ever cheer the season of sorrow, so would she sanctify the hour of joy.
Under this view of our Church and her occasional services, we will proceed to point out the affecting tone of holy instruction and holy comfort, which the service appointed for the solemnization of matrimony would in a special manner seem to afford. The sanctity with which it invests the ordinance, the solemn invocation of Heaven's blessing upon it, the impressive warning it contains against whatever might weaken the bond into which the married parties enter, the earnest supplication for the eternal as well as temporal welfare of husband and wife, the avowal that all is done as in the immediate presence of that “ God, before whom all hearts are open, and from whom no secrets can be hid—” these characteristics combine to give it a value and an interest all its own.
Few there are, however warmly attached to each
1 God might have peopled this new made world at once. Why He did not so do, is not for us to enquire : that He willed differently we have only to admire and adore, as we read in his holy word, what was the ordering of his dispensations.