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sider it. It certainly is, or was intended to be, an act of social worship; and if we stand when we read the Psalms, surely, it would be inconsistent to suppose that we are to do otherwise, when we repeat some select parts of more beauty, sublimity, and devotion, from the same compositions to music. Besides, let it be remembered, as a general rule, that every act of public wor. ship,-every form of thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God requires to be performed either kneeling, or standing. Christian devotion, as regulated by the Rubric of our Church, knows no other posture, or deportment.

The only occasions, therefore, when we are permitted to sit, are when in anthems, or hymns, the music may be for only one, two, or three voices, in which others ought not to join ;during the reading of the Lessons, and the delivery of the Sermon, in which the congregation having no part assigned them, are required only to listen with attention, and to “ take heed how they hear.” Notonly the Rubric directs, or implies this, but reason, good sense, and a certain fitness of things, which St. Paul would call Decency.

Let us reason in a few words from analogy on this subject. If you had any thing to say, or offer, in honor of an earthly sovereign, would you present it sitting? Or, would

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think of offering petitions for benefits, and supplications for pardon in the same posture? No-nature, as well as established usage, which, in this instance, is derived from it, has taught men what is right and fit to do; and they need only a common share of interest in what they are about, and a little reflection, to make them at all times feel and practise it.

The celebrated Roman orator, when pleading against a man, who accused his client of an attempt to poison him, argued that the imputed crime must be a mere fiction, or pretence, because he spoke of it with calmness, almost bordering on indifference; using neither the gestures, expression of countenance, words, or actions, which nature dictates on such occasions. –And what inference, it may be asked, would an impartial stranger form, if he were to enter some of our places of public worship during the repetition, we will suppose, of that solemn, interesting, and pathetic service called the Litany? What would he think, if he saw some, instead of kneeling, sitting at their ease, the eyes of others straying from place to place, and many presenting nothing but the figures of perfect indifference ? He may be tempted to say, with Cicero, this is not real—it is only acting a part, and that very badly; or, at least, being unconcerned spectators only of a scene, in which they are voluntary agents, and in which they profess to be deeply interested.

At the same time that I endeavour to enforce the propriety of these inferior duties, I am no stranger to the frailties and imperfections of our common nature. Every one who deals fairly and candidly will allow, that an examination of his own heart will supply him with sufficient specimens of both. The passion of devotion, when felt in its genuine purity, and full force, is such an exaltation of mind, -such an enviable and sublime pleasure, arising from the union of our noblest sentiments and affections, that the best of human beings cannot hope, in this world of frailty, to enjoy it with uninterrupted constancy. Like all other great emotions of virtue, and of happiness, it must have its intervals, or pauses, of languor, and of rest.

From these, and other considerations, many good Christians may join in forms of prayer, which they do not always feel, at least, in their full force, however they might wish and desire it;—but this is no reason why any should be negligent and thoughtless. The devotional spirit

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should, on the contrary, be cherished by an appropriate demeanor, not quenched, or counteracted, by carelessness and inattention. If we cannot at all times feel its zeal and fervency, we may at all times guard against the impropriety of a slovenly neglect, and shameful indifference. We can comply with the directions of the Rubric, provided that no infirmity renders it painful and injurious, and we can shew ourselves at least willing to “ do all things decently and in order."

To some superficial thinkers and observers, mere forms might appear of trifling, or no importance : but if they considered the subject more attentively, they would find that forms are the guards and outworks, as it were, of every thing valuable in civilised society. They pervade every department of it; and though sometimes abused, were first imposed by necessity, or obvious utility. In private, as well as in public, they ensure the continued observance of Order and good manners, and are often a powerful auxiliary in the defence of virtue itself. They encircle every great establishment in Church and State, promoting regularity, and preventing confusion. In religion, we need not hesitate to affirm, that if “ the forms of godliness” were destroyed, “ the power of it” would not long be felt. They serve, more or less, in every small system of government to keep good discipline alive; and, by making us feel the earliest annoyances of the enemy, they enable us to resist the first intrusions of evil.

Considering the importance of forms, therefore, in religious worship, I have endeavoured to call your attention to the duty of regular attendance, at the hour appointed, on the Christian Sabbath, and of observing the directions of the Rubric, with a view to render our services uniform, decent, or becoming, in the eyes of man, and more acceptable in the sight of God.

To all those who feel sufficient satisfaction in themselves, from the performance of what they deem the more essential duties of their station, I would say, therefore, by way of conclusion, in the words of our blessed Lord to the Scribes and Pharisees of old, “ These ought ye to have done, and not leave the other undone."

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