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that he may

“ overcome the sharpness of death, and to sit at the right hand of God :” and the purpose of this humiliation and exaltation is declared to be,

open the kingdom of heaven to all believers :" that is ; that his glorious gospel-the glad tidings of salvation-may be made known to mankind; and that--sinners as we are-if we will but repent, and rest all our faith and hope on Him, everlasting happiness may still be within our reach. And, lastly; a firm persuasion is declared, that the same Jesus, who suffered and intercedes for us, will hereafter “ come, to be our JUDGE."

To Christ, therefore, is most naturally addressed the subsequent prayer, that he will “ help his servants, whom he has redeemed with bis

precious blood,” and “make them to be numbered with his saints in glory everlasting ;" that he will

save his people, and bless his heritage;" that he will “govern them, and lift them up for ever.

Now, we know, that the gracious and benevolent act, of devoting himself for our salvation, and expiating our sins, is already completed. Why, then, is it here made our petition to Christ, that he would help and save us, and make us to be

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numbered with his saints in glory? These expressions are evident allusions to his office, as our Mediator and Intercessor; and to his promise, that he would send the Holy Ghost to comfort us, and to abide with us for ever: that is—if we sincerely desire his aid, and ask it faithfully in the name of our Redeemer-to help us in subduing all carnal and corrupt affections; to confirm our faith, and to make our repentance effectual to amendment; that thus, having complied with the conditions of salvation, we may become capable of . the benefits of Christ's death, and co-heirs with him of eternal life.

After these petitions, resuming once more the tone of praise and adoration, the hymn thus proceeds : «

Day by day we magtfify thee; and we worship thy name ever, world without end." Then, finally returning to the language of prayer, it thus concludes: “ Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin. O Lord, have mercy upon us, have merey upon us. O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us, as our trust is in thee. O Lord, in thee have I trusted, let me never be confounded."

Upon the whole character of this noble effusion of piety, we may add this remark :-that, taking

in the full import of all its parts, a pious mind will discover, in this single form of devotion, a suitable provision for the expression of almost every thought and disposition of mind, which a complete act of worship can comprise or require.

The introduction of the Te Deum between the Lessons conveys, to the intelligent Christian, a clear intimation of the high value which be ought to set upon the Holy Scriptures. From them be derives the knowledge of all that it most concerns him to know: and, while millions of his fellowmen are still sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, upon him, the day-break from on high is shining in full splendour, and is ready to guide his feet into the way of peace.

The Canticle following the Te Deum, and called the BENEDICITE, from the first word of the Latin version, has also been termed “the Song, of the three Children in the burning fiery furnace:” and these three children are supposed, on Scriptural grounds, to be the Ananias, Azarias, and Misaël, mentioned in the concluding verse; these being described in the prophecy of Daniel,' as the same

i Dan. i. 7.

persons, who are also known under the Chaldee appellations of Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego. The Benedicite itself, indeed, is found only in the Apocryphal or uncanonical part of the book of Daniel : but it has been generally used in Christian Churches, and many of the Fathers have not scrupled to recognise it, as a portion of Scripture. Its poetical character, as an invocation of all the works of the Creator, animate or inanimate, to join in celebrating his praise, renders it less eligible than the Te Deum, for daily or constant use: and this difference has been so generally felt, at least in modern times, that the former, comparatively, is seldom recited. In substance, however, it approaches very near to the 148th Psalm, which may possibly have served as a model for it: and a judicious writer' has well observed, that, “ where the first Lesson treats of the Creation, or of any extraordinary exercise of God's power and providence, the Benedicite might with propriety be substituted for the Te Deum."

The second Lesson is also followed by a hymn : and here, again, the choice of one out of two is

Shepherd on the Liturgy.

left to the discretion of the minister. The former of these consists of the prophecy or song of Zacharias, pronounced at the circumcision of his son, John the Baptist; and is called the BENEDICTUS. It expresses, with great strength and fervour, the pious gratitude of its author for the coming of that Redeemer, of whom John was the forerunner : but, having been suggested by a particular occasion, to which the latter part of it immediately refers, it may not appear so well adapted to constant and general use, as the hundredth Psalm, or JUBILATE, which is more commonly chosen in its place. In that Psalm, the sentiments of praise and thanksgiving, as a tribute to the greatness and goodness of the Creator, are poured forth in a strain of such noble simplicity, that its power and beauty have been universally acknowledged : and hence, probably, it has been more frequently recited and sung, than any other composition of this class. For the same reason, I may forbear, at present, to enlarge upon its merits: especially, as it closely resembles the ninety-fifth Psalm, which was particularly examined on a former occasion. I will only add, concerning the hundredth Psalm,

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