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reason of our manifold transgressions and hardness of heart: Yet seeing it hath pleased thee of thy tender mercy, upon our weak and unworthy humiliation, to afswage the contagious sickness wherewith we lately have been sore afflicted, and to restore the voice of joy and health into our dwellings; We offer unto tlay Divine Majesty the facrifice of praise and thanksgiving, sauding and magnifying thy glorious Name for such thy preservation and providence over us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE COLLECTS, EPISTLES, AND GOSPELS,
To be used throughout the Year. Noti, That the Collect appointed for every Sunday, or, for any Holy-day that hath a Vigil or Eve, shall be said at the Evening Service next before.
The first Sunday in Advent.
away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in
The Collects, Epislles, and Gospels] Most of our collects are very ancient, as appears by their conformity to the epiftles and gospels, which are thought to have been selected by St. Jerom, and introduced by him into the Lectionary; on which account the collecls themselves are by fome attributed to him. Certain it is, that Galafius bishop of Rome, A.D. 492, arranged the collects which were then in use, and added several of this own; and that Gregory the Great again corrected, amplified, and increated them in number. The Sacramentarium of this great man, which contains most of our collects, was freely used by our reformers, with admirable judgment, in purging, altering, and improving the collects as they 1tood in their corrupted state in the Romish missals; and the reviewers in Charles's reign put the final polish to them, by subjecting them to another vigorous ferutiny. The epistles and gospels were appropriated to the days whereon they are now read in very early times, as appears from the 'ancient liturgies. In all the editions of the common-prayer (except the Brotch one) from the publication of the bishop's bible in Queen Elizabeth's peign, to the review in Charles Ild's reign, they were taken from that accion of the scriptures. But at the Savoy conference in 1661, the Presbyronan Commillioners suggesting that there were many defects in Elizaindeh's version, the Episcopalians determined that the epistles and gospels should be taken from James's bible, and the version in common use. It may be here well to remark, that the rubric in Edward's book, A.D. 1540,
which thy Son Jesus Christ came to vilit us in great hamility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through liii who liveth and reigneth with ihce and the Holy Ghost, now and cver. Amen.
This Collect is to be repeated every day with the oiber Collcets in Advent, until Christmas. Eve.
Tus thus: “ The introits, collets, epiftles, &c.” These intrcits are psalms appropriate to the subject of the collects, epistles, and goipels, and prefixed to them. Their usc is or great antiquity; and their name recered from their being sung or faid whillt the priest was making his irtroitas, or entrance within the rails of the altar. in the fecond edition of Edward's praver-book they were omitted, but no reason appears why that thoal be the cafe. I have pointed out the different introits directed to be uferi on the different Sundavs and festivals; and it may perhaps be worth while to remark, that by the adoption of the metrical version of them on the dars of their occurrence, for the first or second psalm, the congregation would have at least one hymn (which is seldorn the case now) applicable to the particular service of the day,
Vigil or Eve! We learn both froni holy writ and profane testimony, that the primitive Christians were under the necesity of meeting during the aight, and before the dawn of day, to celebrate the services of their religion, in order to avoid the observation and mzlice of theirenemies and perfecutors. After a time the necefhı y for this precaution cealed in consequence of the Christians being tolerated in their worship; but the ancient practice having been found of good effect as a preparation for the due obtervation of the ensuing solemnity, the church continued these vigilix, vigils or watchings, for fe: eral centuries. At length, however, the cultom introduced a variety of disorders and irregularities, which occasioned the abolition of the watchings; though the feasts were recained under the ancient name of vigils. in Collier's Eccl. Hist. v. ii. 203, we find that the vigil at night aftu AllHallows day was kept by watching, ringing of bell , uc. ali night long, so late as 1545, when Henry VIII. wrote to Crannier w abolith it altogether.
The Collect! This noble collect, for conversion from fin, was compoled at the Reformation, and introduced into the liturgy in the frit prayer-book of Edward Viva It breathes throughout the spirit of piety and fublimity; and is remarkable for the beauty of its imagery, and the elegance of its antithesis. It may be proper to observe in this place, that the practice of the people repcating the doxology, "Glorybc to tice, O Lord, before the reading of the gospel, is borrowed from the aukiant Greek church. In the Divina Misu, attributed to Chrylolom, previously to the Evangelii leciin, or reading of the gospel by the priest, the de won announced the portion of fcripture which was appointed for that purpose, and the people immediately exclaimed in chorus, 0 40250, K:5, “Glory be to thee, O Lord.” King Edward's first book enjoins it, and the Scotch Latany retains it.. No rubric, however, directs the practice at present; so that it may be confidered rather as a traditional, tha'l as a Ingwe ye dained one. The inércit for this Sunday was pluln i.
The Epistle. Rom. xiii. 8.
for he that loveth another, hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear falle witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this faying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thytelf Love worketh 110 ill to his neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer, than when we believed. The night is far fpcnt, the day is at hand; let us therefore calt off the wochs of darkness, and let us put on the armo!ır of light. Let us walk kov ftly as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in ftrife and envying: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
The GospelSt. Matt. xxi. 1.
come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, But to love one another] A beautiful example of the philanthropy of the Christian system. Goud-will to man, indeed, makes fo prominent a part of the evar'gelical scheme, that we may venture boldly to affert, no way of life can be pleasing to God, and no views of faith consistent with the intention of Christ, which are not characterised by charity and philanthropy.
For now is our salvation rearer, &c.] And we thould love our neighbour, and fulfil cvery Christian duty, under the full persuasion of the Ahortness and uncertainty of life.
The Gospel The respectful posture of Nanding during the recitation of the golpel is of great antiquity. In the collection of conftitutions by Ebnaslàlus is one that directs the congregation to stard in folemn Glence, whilft the priest or deacon is reading the gospel. In the Greek liturgies the deacon who read the gospel, previously to his reading it, called out to the congregation, freunte, areouper T8 cryio suz yedio. “ Stand up, and let us litten to the holy gospel.” But though it appears, that at the time of the compilation of these liturgies, the deacons read the gospel, yet this was not the practice in the earlieit ages of the church; for we find, from the patriarch Gabriel, that this part of the sacred rites was performed by the priest alone. This custom is retained in our church, when there happen to be a priest and a deacon at the altar at the same time; the latter in that case reads the epistle, and the former the gospel. For an account of the forms and ceremonies attending the reading of the gospel, vide Renaudotium, Lit. Orient. tom. i. p. 212.
them unto me.
then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring
And if any man fay aught unto you, ye Thall say, The Lord hath need of them: and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and fitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an afs
. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way, others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord, Hofanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerufalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the Prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple of God; and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and faid unto them, It is written,
An ass! This animal, however ignoble in our own country, is of value and confideration in the East. In Palestine and Syria, princes and magiftrates formerly rode upon them. See Judg. v. 10; 2 Sam. xvi. 2.
Bring them unto me] It has been supposed by some commentators, that the ass and colt were the property of one of Christ's disciples; and therefore the directions of the matter (as it might properly have been transkied) were immediately complied with.
Spreading their garments] Spreading garments, and strawing branches in the way of conquerors and princes, were customary
modes of shewing great respect amongit the Orientals in ancient times; fee 1 Maccab. xiii. $I; 2 Maccab. x. 7 ; and Wesselingii Herod. Uran. sect. 99. Hosannah] An Hebrew compound, signifying “ save now.” Temple] That is, the outer court of it, called the court of the gentiles. Meney-changers] Extortionate and covetous men, who sat in the great resort of the foreign Jews who came to Jerusalem, at the great fettivals, that they might cheat them in the exchange of foreign for Jewish coin.
Dres] These birds were kept there for the convenience of those who had an offering of that kind to make. See Luke ii
. 24;. Levit. xi. 6. H
My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a dea of thieves.*
The ficord Sunday in Accout.
Toe Cole 7.
written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wite hear then, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digelt them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hoid fast the bleiied hope of ever . lasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Chriit. Amen.
The Ep:/?!e. Rom. xv. 4. Watsoever things were written aforetime, were writ
ten for our learning; that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and confolation grant you to be like. minded one towards another, according to Chriit Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore feceive ye one another, as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. Now I say, that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision, for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written,
In many country churches, particularly in the North of the kingdom, it is the custom for the people to exclain after the gospel, “ Thanks be to thee, O Lord.” This is enjoined in the Scotch liturgy, and is borrowed from the Eastern church. In the ancient Liturgia Syrorum Jacobitarum, it was directed, that on every day throughout the year, with one exception, this thankfgiving should be repeated by the priest: “Domino noftro Jesu Christo, hymni, laudes, et benedictiones propter verba ejus viva ad nos; et patri ejus qui mifit illum, &c.” Renardotius, tom. i. 21.
Blefje Lord) This huinble petition to Almighty God for a blessing on our ftudy of his holy word, is another specimen of the ability of the Re. formers in facred compofition. It was incorporated into our liturgy in Edward the Vith's reign, and occurs in his first Prayer-Book. The introit for this Sunday was cxxth pfalm.
Receive ye one another] I exhort ye, therefore, to live in harmony with each other, notwithstanding your differences in opinion on fpeculative and indifferent points, remembering that Christ has received us all into one communion and fellowship, for the service and honour of God.