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NEW VERSION OF THE 15TH PSALM.
Father of light, and life, and glory say,
SHORT LECTURES ON THE CATECHISM.
(Concluded from Page 344.) THERE are two Sacraments in the Protestant Church; the first is Baptism, by which we are admitted into, and become members of, the Church of Christ.
The outward form or ceremony is being washed with water; by which we understand, that, as that element is used to purify, and take off every defilement from our outward form, so the grace of God, which we hope to obtain in that Sacrament, will purify our hearts, and make us lively members of the religion which we then take upon us. When infants are baptized, their parents and sponsors, in the most solemn manner, engage to have them educated in the true Faith, and to procure them every necessary instruction. When these infants are come to a proper age, they are to be brought to the Bishop to be confirmed by him, and to take upon themselves those vows and promises which were made in their names whilst they were incapable of judging for themselves. By many thoughtless persons, Confirmation is regarded as an unmeaning, or at best an unnecessary ceremony. Those persons would, however, do well to read, and consider attentively, the form of words used on that solemn occasion, and likewise on that of Baptism. If they were duly attentive to the meaning and spirit of these words, we should not see so much inconsi. derate levity as we are too often witnesses of on these solemn occasions, particularly at Confirmation.
The Lord's Supper is a Sacrament instituted by Christ himself. He first celebrated it with his disciples, the night before his sufferings. We are to receive it in grateful remembrance of Him. It is intended to remind us that our Saviour died to atone for our sins, and the sins of the whole world. Nothing can be finer than the form of words used in the celebration of this Sacrament. No true Christian can read them, without having his heart warmed with devotion and gratitude to his Lord and Saviour, and with love to his fellow-creatures.
We are not to understand that the Body and Blood of Christ are actually received by the faithful; but we are to consider that all devout Christians, who
with a bumble heart receive this communion, apply to themselves the benefits of our Saviour's death : that, as the elements of Bread and Wine contribute to the nourishment of our bodily frame, so the grace of God purchased by the sacrifice of Christ, and granted to our earnest prayers, will nourish our souls in all goodness, make us bappy in ourselves, and a blessing to others; and will thus fit and prepare as for the heavenly society of saints and angels above. Those who would present themselves (as all Christians ought to do) at the altar of God, must hamble themselves before their Lord and Saviour, and look for salvation only through Him. They must lay aside all other dependence, and beseech the Almighty not to "weigh their merits," but, for Christ's sake," to pardon their offences.” They must, at the same time, sincerely desire, and earnestly labour to lead a new life, and to lay aside every thing contrary to Christian practice. They must seek to be devout towards God, and be willing to banish every feeling of malice, and every desire of revenge towards their fellow creatures, and must freely forgive them the greatest injuries. The right preparation is, hatred of sin, trust in God, diffidence in ourselves, love and charity to our fellow-creatures,-all accompanied with a humble hope of acceptance through the merits of our blessed Saviour.
Why, why, thus heavy, O my soul !
Say, why, distrustful still,
O’er scenes of future ill ?
Each anxious wish exclude;
A Maker wise and good.
He to thy every trial knows
Its just restraint to give;
And faithful to relieve.
Say why, distrustful still,
O'er scenes of future ill!
Still in thy God confide;
And curbs the headlong tide. MERRICK.
Look down, thou awful heart-inspecting Judge,
MRS. HANNAH MOORE.
REMARKABLE PRESERVATION OF THE IRISH
PROTESTANTS, IN QUEEN MARY'S TIME.
QUEEN MARY, about the end of her reign, signed a commission for executing the same severity against the Irish Protestants which she had shewn towards the English. She sent Dr. Cole as her commissioner to execute her cruel purposes. Before the Doctor sailed from England, a good woman, in the house where he was staying, took the commission out of his box, and put a pack of cards there instead, with the knave of clubs uppermost. He presented the box to the Lord Deputy of Ireland, who, as well as the Doctor, was surprised at what he saw. The Doctor was obliged to return for another commission; and, when he had got it, was about to sail back again to Ireland ;- but he was detained by contrary winds. Whilst he was waiting at the water's edge for a fair wind, news came that the Queen was dead-and thus God preserved the Protestants in Ireland.
REMARKS ON SOME PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE.
The severities exercised by the Israelites of old towards the nations which they had conquered, have sometimes disturbed the minds of the readers of Scripture. When, however, we consider that these nations abounded in wickedness, and that, according to the rule of divine justice, they were to be punished, and that the Israelites were the appointed instruments of inflicting this punishment, we shall see that these acts of severity were not the gratification of private revenge, but the infliction of public justice. It may, however, be satisfactory to the minds of some readers, to know that the passage in which David is said to have put the Ammonites “under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and “ made them pass though the brick-kiln *,” is capable of being translated thus: “He put them to the saw, to iron mines, and to iron axes, and transported them to the brick-kilns.” In this translation, it will seem that David punished them, by setting them to work with saws, and in mines, &c. and in brick-kilns :--thus their punishment was hard labour, not torture.
Whilst we are upon the subject of Scripture interpretation, we may remark, that the verse in the 12th Chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, is sometimes thought to be a recommendation of severity towards our enemies—" thou shalt heap coals of fire upon bis head."
1 Kings xii. 31.