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by such multitudes at once, though for the most part invisible to each other, must be a noble sound, and a grateful tribute to “Him who heareth the prayer,” so far as the spiritual and intellectual part may accompany the vocal, and his name be pronounced with a suitable feeling of awe and reverence.

Therefore at once, before we ever appeal to God either in public or in private, by voice or recollection, we should pause at his sacred name or notion, and remember who it is that we are addressing; which will afford occasion and opportunity for remembering at the same time our dependence on his protection, and acknowledging our cheerful submission to his heavenly will, that we may pray to him faithfully, reverently and consistently. And so far also will this respectful practice be to us a means of grace corresponding with the third commandment; as all the commandments are means of grace. Or else, the Lord's name being then taken in vain, the particulars that follow, however excellent in themselves, will be for the petitioner neither more nor less than a series of vain repetitions. We should not presume to mention the name of the Deity without a wish to hallow it, and that our spirit might be softened and subdued by God's Holy Spirit to a temper of humility becoming every creature in the presence of its Creator; which may be a very suitable introduction to what follows, as well as a becoming manner of addressing the Deity to invoke or supplicate his bounty. “Hallowed be thy name!"

As for the outward form or ceremony with which our actual invocation might be accompanied; the same being comparatively insignificant, as I before intimated, may depend on the usage of the country or place in other unequal relations. In slavish, and consequently idolatrous countries, the subject or performer of this act of invocation will not be ashamed to bend, to kneel, or even to prostrate himself before its object, the person to whom it is performed, if he should happen to think him high

“ Kiss

enough, as he might think, for want of knowing better, of many a fellow-creature. As we ought all of us to be subject one to another, (Pet. I. v. 5,) according to the excellent St. Peter, there will not seem so much impropriety in bowing, uncovering the head, and other ceremonies that are practised among ourselves, if we consider them only as tokens of friendship or of mutual subjection. In the same manner kissing, embracing, joining hands, or only sending a kiss by one of them, are also practised with us. But in the East, and elsewhere likewise on some occasions, the first mentioned action has been regarded rather as a token of fealty or subjection. Thus some of God's people were distinguished for their fidelity during the idolatrous reign of Ahab, in not having bowed the knee to Baal, nor ever condescended to kiss his statues: (Kings I. xix. 18 :) while on the contrary our allegiance to the Son of God is claimed by the same token under a threat of his heavy displeasure. the Son, lest he be angry; and so ye perish from the right way; if his wrath be kindled-yea but a little. BLESSED ARE ALL THEY THAT PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM.” (Ps. ii. 12.) For such is the way to kiss Christ-spiritually, or with the fealty of the soul.

The Jews were neither an over friendly, nor yet a particularly obsequious sort of people; but few friends of his, even among them, could approach the only Son to address him, without some customary expression of love and adoration agreeable to his dignity and the degree of intimacy allowed them : as nearest, the apostles in joining hands, we may suppose, or perhaps an embrace with this Organ of divinity: “Which we have seen with our eyes; which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the Word of life," (John I. i. 1,) says one of them. The difference between eastern manners in those days, as well as at present, and our manners in respect of salutation would make some customs to be natural and even expected in that case which in this would seem insipid

and disgusting, as for example, the friendly kiss; which being considered in the light before mentioned, Messiah himself both allowed to such a wretch as the traitor Judas, (Matt. xxvi. 49,) and expected from such a piece of formality as Simon the Pharisee; drawing thereupon a bitter contrast in the latter case between this man's haughty inattention, and the humble devotion of a poor woman who had been guilty in her time of more serious faults than a breach of politeness, and now “stood at his feet (not in front of the sacred person, but) behind, weeping; and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment,” which she had brought for that purpose.

For although so much devotion and contrition from such a character might have shamed some, it did not Simon; on the contrary, he was rather scandalized with the Friend of sinners, for allowing these indecent liberties, as he considered them. Whereupon, “Jesus answering said unto him, Simon; I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed him five hundred pence, and the other fifty : and when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me, therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose, he to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house: thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss; but this woman, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much : but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” (Luke vii. 37, &c.)

Sometimes the salutation or adoration (that is, salutation toward men, adoration toward God) shall be more indirect than in the ways now described, being carried on to its proper object from some other, or perhaps included with it. So the apostle Paul, on greeting or saluting the church at Ephesus, continues, “ Blessed be the God and Father (that is God humanly, Father-divinely related) of our Lord Jesus Christ; who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ.” (Eph. i. 3.) And St. Peter, after greeting the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, adds nearly in the same terms this adoration or benediction of his and their common benefactor, “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; which, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (Pet. I. i. 3.) And others in all ranks, as well as the Psalmist and the prophets, the evangelists, and the apostles, and in all countries and times, have so done in mingling adoration with greeting, the remembrance of their Benefactor with that of their brethren ; so do they, and so will continue to do, it is to be hoped, in all their assemblies and under all circumstances; as the Psalmist avers,

“ The Lord's name is praised from the rising up of the sun unto the going down of the same.” (Ps. cxiii. 3.)

This adoration and worship in some sort is paid more generally than it may be either meant or understood; as for example in the forementioned and other similar customs. Pity it is that the subjects or performers of such worship are not generally more conscious and consenting to their own performance, while they are kneeling and bowing at the name of Jesus, if not confessing him “Lord to the glory of God the Father :” (Phil. ii. 10, 11 :) as he says by the prophet, “ For I am God; and there is none

else. I have sworn by myself; the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear. Surely shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed." (Isai. xlv. 22-24.) Only uncovering the head on entering a place of worship may be remembered as an acknowledgment of the divine authority, or hallowing our heavenly Father's presence: much more will he remember also the knee bent to him in secret. (Matt. vi. 6.) And how many have uncovered the head this morning in the porch of God's house ! how many have bowed the knee to him within, and to the Son in his name ! how many hare owned the Lord with their voice, and subscribed with their hand to the God of Jacob, taking a new name from him accordingly! “And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water-courses. One shall say, I am the Lord's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.” (Isai. xliv. 4, 5.)

But then we must suppose them to have heard of him; as St. Paul observes on the words of the prophet Joel, “ For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then (says he) shall they call on him in whom they have not believed ? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they bear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent ? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace.” (Rom. x. 13-15.) It might as well have been expected of the

poor Israelites to make bricks without straw for Pharaoh, or of his taskmasters to give it them without his commission; as either for the people to believe without preaching, or for others to preach without being sent; ay, and by a superhuman authority, if what they preached

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