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prayer addressed to the Almighty, instead of speaking of him, and delivering a commission in his name. As thus-Almighty God! the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ'-instead of the authoritative tone of one speaking in his name, and who has received power and commandment from him, to declare his gracious pleasure to his people. The words as they stand, have indeed the same air as several prayers beginning in the same manner which probably has betrayed most into the same mode of delivering them. But whoever will suppose them to be preceded by the article, the, which is understood, as thus-The Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c. will immediately see the necessity of using a tone very different from that of supplication; and will easily bring himself to the use of it. Who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness and live.? Here the emphasis on the words, sinner, in the first part, and, turn from his wickedness, in the latter, obscure the main purport of the sentence; which is, The Almighty takes no pleasure in seeing a sinner perish everlastingly, (which is implied in the death of a sinner) but wishes rather, that by a course of penitence and reformation, he may receive eternal life; which is implied in the word, live. How strongly marked, therefore, should words be of such powerful import! And hath given power and commandment to his ministers, to declare and pronounce to his people being penitent'— The words, by being thus huddled together, lose much of their import and clearness. But read in the following way-And hath given power' and com
mandment to his ministers" to declàre' and pronounce' to his people'-the different parts of each member of the sentence, and their reference to each other are distinctly pointed out. He hath given to his ministers commandment' to declare" and power' to pronounce' the absolution of sins-upon a certain condition. Ought not the condition then, to be particularly marked and enforced, instead of being slurred over as it usually is? to declare and pronounce to his people being penitent the absolution, &c.' Should it not have the solemnity of a pause, both before and after it, accompanied by a lower tone of voice, to give it its due weight? As thus--to declare and pronounce to his people' being pe'nitent' the absolution' and remission of their sins. He pardoneth and absolveth all those who truly repent, &c.' Here the observation formerly made, recurs, of the slight manner in which the Almighty is often mentioned, and which must be much more striking on this occasion, where his minister is commanded in his name, to declare his pleasure to his people, upon so important an article. Surely this cannot be done with too much solemnity, and may be effected by dwelling with a tone of reverential awe, on the relative which stands for his name, followed by a suitable pause; thus-He" pardoneth and absolveth all those who truly repen't' and unfeignedly belie`ve his holy Gospel. Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance, &c.' In this, as in all other places, where there is a particular address to the congregation, it is to be wished that it were brought more home to them, by force of emphasis on the proper
word; as thus-Wherefore let us beseech him to grant u's' true repentance-that is, let us all who are here assembled, unite to beseech him that we may be made fit partakers of this covenant; the covenant just before published to all Christians. From which each pastor takes occasion to exhort his own particular flock, earnestly to pray to God, that they may partake of it.
Many are apt even to commit so gross an error, as to lay the chief stress on the words which denote the most important things; without any consideration of the emphatic word of each sentence: e. g. in the Absolution, many read, "let us beseech him to grant us trùe repentance;" because, forsooth, "true repentance" is an important thing; not considering that, as it has been just mentioned, it is not the new idea, and that to which the attention should be directed by the emphasis; the sense being, that since God pardoneth all that have true repentance, therefore, we should "beseech him, to grànt it to ùs."
These are the principal faults usually committed in reading the absolution. Others of smaller note I shall not expatiate on, but leave them to each one's obser vation, by presenting the whole in what appears to me to be the right manner of reading it.
'Almighty God' the father of our Lord Je sus Christ' who desireth not the death of a sinner' but rather that he may turn from his wickedness' and live" hath given po'wer' and commandment to his ministers' to declare and
pronounce to his people' being penitent' the absolution and remission of their sins" He"
pardoneth and absolveth all those who truly repent and unfeignedly believe his holy gospel" Wherefore' let us beseech him' to grant u's true repentance' and his Holy Spirit' that those things may please him' which we do at thi's present' and that the rest of our life hereafter' may be pùre and hòly" so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy' through Jesus Christ our Lord”””
LORD'S PRAYER, VERSICLE AND GLORIA PATRI.
I now come to the Lord's prayer. Nothing can' shew the corrupt state of the art of reading, or the power of bad habit, in a stronger light, than the manner in which that short and simple prayer, is generally delivered. In the first words of it, 'Our Father who a`rt in Heaven' that false emphasis on the word, art, has almost universally prevailed. This strong stress upon the affirmative, art, looks as if there might be a doubt, whether the residence of God were in Heaven, or not; and the impropriety of the emphasis will immediately appear, upon changing the word we are accustomed to, for another of the same import. For instance, should any one instead of saying-Our Father who residest in Heaven-read-Our Father who resìdest in Heaven, the absurdity would be glar
ing. The other consequently should be read in the same way—'Our Father' who art in Hea`ven'-with the emphasis upon Heaven, and the voice somewhat raised. I have known a few who have seen this mistake, and to avoid it, have run into another error, as thus Our Father whoart in Heaven,' making the two words, who and art, appear but as one, by too precipitate an utterance-whoart.-They should be pronounced distinctly, but without any stress; and this will be accomplished in spite of habit, by frequent trials, if care be taken to reserve the emphasis for the word Heaven, as thus-Our Father' who art in Heaven' hallowed be thy name'-Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.'-By running the words and members of the sentence thus into each other, the importance of the sentiments, and the relation which one member of the sentence bears to the other, are lost. The first, expresses a wish for the coming of the promised kingdom of Christ; the other, a desire of the consequences to be expected from the coming of that kingdom, that the will of God may be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven; which we are told will be the case, when Christ begins, his reign. The meaning of the first, is the same as if it were written-May thy kingdom come; but the word, may, being understood, its place should be supplied by a small pause before the word, come-thy kingdom' come"" and after a due pause, to let so solemn a wish make its proper impression, the reason of this wish, that is, in order that the will of God may be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven, should be distinctly pointed