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THE

THANKSGIVING OF WOMEN

AFTER CHILD-BIRTH,

COMMONLY CALLED

THE CHURCHING OF WOMEN.

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VOWS

This Service seems to have taken its origin from the Jews in their rite of Purification. It took place in the Greek Church on the fortieth day after the birth of the child. P The woman is pay

her in the presence of all God's people, in the Courts of the Lord's House." This Service ought therefore to be performed in no other place but the Church.

The Service consists of an exhortation to the woman, to return her thanks for the

she has received. An appropriate Psalm follows; the Lord's Prayer; a few short addresses and answers; and a Collect of Praise and Thanksgiving.

mercy

° Levit. xii.

P Simeon Thessalonic. in Not. ad Ercholog. p. 324.

A COMMINATION,

OR DENOUNCING OF GOD'S ANGER AND JUDG

MENTS AGAINST SINNERS.

In the introduction of this Service it is said by the Priest, that “at the beginning of Lent, such persons as stood convicted of notorious sin, were put to open penance, and punished in this world, that their souls might be saved in the day of the Lord; and that others admonished by their example, might be the “more afraid to offend.”

It was originally ordered upon Ash-Wednesday only. Afterwards, in 1576, it was appointed to be read on three other times of the year; on one of the three Sundays next before Easter; on one of the two Sundays next before Pentecost, and on one of the two Sundays next before Christmas. It is now only used upon Ash-Wednesday.

THE PSALMS OF DAVID.

The Psalms in the Liturgy are according to the translation set forth in the latter part of King Henry VIII., after the name of Jehovah, never before used in any language, had been intro, duced by Petrus Galatinus, 9 and which is used in this translation."

The Bishop's Bible, used in Churches from the beginning of Queen Elizabeth, till the new translation under King James, though different in other parts, retains the same Psalms without any alteration.

It has, therefore, no notes upon the Psalms, nor reference to parallel passages. This translation was doubtless from the Hebrew, and the meaning is closely preserved.

At the end of the “ Book of Common Prayer," were added at the last Review in 1661, “Forms of Prayer to be used at Sea.”

Other offices were added at the same time, for the “ fifth of November"-For the tieth of January,” which was drawn up by Bishop Saunderson, approved by the Convocation, and ordered to be printed in the Liturgy For the "twenty-ninth of May,” in celebration of the Restoration of King Charles II. ; which service was also drawn up by Bishop Saunderson, approved by the Convocation, and ordered to be printed in the Liturgy-And for the day of a new King's accession to the Crown, which is used on the “ twenty-ninth of January," the day of his present Majesty's accession.

" thir

9 Petrus Galatinus was author of a valuable work, De Arcanis Catholicæ Veritatis, edited best in 1672, fol. He was a Franciscan Monk about 1530,

r Psal. xxxiii. 12.-lxxxiii. 18.

Such is the form of Worship which is used in the Church of England, and which is unquestionably in conformity with the sense of the Scriptures, and breathes the genuine spirit of the Gospel. And whilst it stimulates our piety, it excludes coldness and indifference, restrains enthusiasm, and represses the excess of intemperate zeal. The tongue, the heart, and the understanding are united in adoration and praise.

It may be possible, indeed, after the acknowledged improvements of the human mind, to find some defect in the language and the expression, (and what human composition is free from it?) but, if there be defect, it must be attributed to the temper and peculiar circumstances of the times in which the Liturgy was framed. If retrenchment or correction in some few instances might be made with advantage; the task must be attempted with a due regard to the times and seasons, with soberness and moderation, with impartiality and diligence.

It was indeed accompanied soon after its introduction, with the martyrdom of its compilers. It has since been defended at different times of trouble and public commotion. But amidst all its dangers, the greatest has ever been the indif, ference and thoughtlessness of those that used it.

The form of Benediction prescribed by God to Moses; the Psalms employed in the service of the Temple ; the example of John the Baptist, and of Christ himself, prove that some regular forms of Prayer were of divine authority. Our Saviour prescribed a form in his own Prayer, which he commanded his Disciples to use, and which he taught the Christian Church. S The Evangelists tell us, that "he prayed three times, saying the same words." +

In a deep sense of his own unworthiness, the Publican did not “lift up his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, u with profound humility of soul and body, only uttering this short form of prayer, « God be merciful to me a sinner.”

To reject altogether particular forms of Prayer in public is impossible; and if it were possible, would be unwise. The unpremeditated prayer is a form to those who hear it. Without some form, admission would easily be given to absurd, inconsistent, and unhallowed addresses to the

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· Luke xi. 1.

t Matt. xxvi. 44.

u Luke xvij. 9.

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