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Ŏ Lamb of God' who takest away the sins
of the world'
Have mercy upon us""
I shall now make a few observations upon some passages in the above service.
In the opening of the Litany, there is something so wrong in the composition, that it will be very difficult to set it right by any mode of reading. The usual way of delivering it-O God the Father of Heaven' -certainly does not make it sense. God may properly be styled the Creator of Heaven, as well as of Earth; but as we should be struck with the impropriety of calling him the Father of Earth, custom alone could prevent our perceiving that it is equally absurd to style him the Father of Heaven. Besides, there is evidently intended here, in the opening of the Litany, a distinct address to each of the Persons of the Trinity; not only by their. different appellations, but by specific attributes to each. Thus in the address to God the Son, he is peculiarly characterized as Redeemer of the world. In that to the Holy Ghost, as proceeding from the Father and the Son. The like was probably intended with regard to the address to God the Father, at the opening, by the words ' of Heaven,' as considering that to be peculiarly his province, as that of the Earth more immediately belonged to our Redeemer. If this was the intention, as it certainly ought to have been, of the writer, it is so obscured by the ill choice and arrangement of the words, that all the world have mistaken it. Had he
inserted the word, Ruler, or Creator, the sense would then have been plain, and the composition perfect; as thus-O God the Father! Ruler of Heaven, &c.
O God the Son! Redeemer of the world, &c. O God the Holy Ghost! proceeding from the Father and the Son, &c.'
There is no doubt, that as it was intended that the opening of the Litany, should be, by a distinct address to each of the three Persons of the Trinity, this intention should have been manifested in the first instance in the address to the first Person, God the Father; which it is not at all, in the manner in which it is generally delivered 'O God the Father of Heaven'— for this is not God the Father considered as one of the Persons of the Trinity, that is, the Father of Jesus Christ, or God the Son; but expressly, God the Father of Heaven; and therefore has no relation to, or connexion with, the two following invocations, to God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The only way to remedy this defect, is by making a pause after -God the Father'-as I have read and marked itThus-O God the Father' of Heaven-That is, peculiarly God of Heaven, as we style the Son, our Saviour and Redeemer, more peculiarly Lord of Earth. E This may at first appear uncouth from its novelty, but the reason for it will soon appear, and its propriety be made manifest.
Many persons in reading the introductory petitions of the Litany, place the emphasis on the unimportant word upon," as thus, "have mercy upon us' miserable sinners;" and others, lay the principal stress upon the
almost equally unimportant word "us :"-" have mercy upon u's' miserable sinners." A little reflection will convince them that these are unnatural emphases. A congregation of truly penitent sinners, realizing the misery of an unpardoned state, would only be intent upon pleading for mercy, and would offer up these earnest appeals to the triune God, in the same manner that we have directed a similar petition in the general confession to be read :—“ have me`rcy upon us-miserable-sinners."
In that part of the Litany where we pray for a deliverance from all kinds of evil, there is one fault that constantly runs through the whole; which is, that at the end of every passage which the clergyman utters, he makes a full stop; though there is not one of them which contains a complete sense, till it be joined with the following part spoken by the congregation. Thus in the first passage—' From all evil and mischief, from sin, from the crafts and assaults of the devil, from thy wrath, and from everlasting damnation'-It is evident that the sentence is not closed, as it does not contain a single verb; nor can it be made sense, till the words -Good Lord deliver us'-be joined to it. And the same may be observed throughout all that part of the Litany. The best way to get rid of this bad habit, is, that the clergyman should throughout, mentally, at least, join with the congregation in repeating those words-Good Lord deliver us'-and then, he will of course, see the necessity of not giving the tone of a full stop to the preceding part of the sentence.
It is usual when that part of the Litany is ended, in which we deprecate evil, to run on immediately, and in the same tone of voice, to the next part, in which we pray for good. But surely there ought to be a pause of some duration, to mark this change; and the tone should be lowered to that of one who supplicates, and beseeches the grant of favors to which he is not entitled; as is manifest from the very first words with which it sets out. We sinners' do beseech thee to hear us' Ŏ Lord God, &c.
There is a passage in that part of the Litany, often improperly read thus-That it may please thee to defend and provide, for the fatherless children and widows, &c.—in which way of stopping, for, is equally associated to the former verb, defend, as to the latter, provide; but we know that, defend and for, can never be united, as defend for, is not English. We should therefore read it thus-That it may please thee to defend, and provide for, the fatherless children, and widows, &c.
I shall not detain you with any remarks upon the slighter faults committed in this part of the service, but proceed to the rest.
Ŏ Christ' hèar us"
Lord' have mercy upon us"
Ŏ Lōrd' deal not with us according to our
Neither reward us according to our ini`quities=
LET US PRAY.
Ŏ Gōd' mērciful Father' who despìsest not the sighing of a co`ntrite heart' nor the desire of such as are so`rrowful" mērcifully assi`st our prayers' which we make before thee in all our troubles and adversities' whensoever they oppre'ss us" and graciously hear us' that those evils' which the craft and subtlety' of the de`vil' or ma'n' worketh against us' may' by thy good providence' be brought to noùght" that we' thy servants' being hurt by nò persecutions' may e`vermore give thanks unto thee' in thy holy church' through Jesus Christ' our Lord"
O Lord' arise" help us' and deliver us' for thy name's sake""'
Ŏ Gōd' we have heard with our ears' and our fathers have declared unto us' the noble works that thou didst in their days' and in the òld time before them""'
O Lord' arise" help us' and deliver us' for thine ho`nour.
From our enemies defend us' Ỏ Christ"