« VorigeDoorgaan »
in use in our catechism. The answer natural it was to go on and to imagine to both will be the same.
that sacraments might be called mys“Q. What do you mean by this teries. word ordinance ?
In meditating upon these transpo“ A. I mean an outward and visible sitions, we exonerate Tertullian from sign of an inward and spiritual grace, any intention of deluding or perplexordained by Christ Himself.”'
ing his hearers, but the vigilance of Thus far we see the word Sacra- the great enemy took advantage of ment is understood to mean,
his inaccuracy, and of the flexibility 1st. An oath or solemn engage- of modern language, gradually to ment.
work his designs against the truth, 2nd. A Divine ordinance.
through the writings of this well3rd. An outward and visible sign meaning and christian man ; indeed
there are incidents on record which if Tertullian had satisfied himself shew that Tertullian's own mind was with using the word in these three not untainted with superstition with senses, there would not have been so
regard to the Lord's Supper, and much confusion, but he gave it a therefore, without any evil design, he greater latitude, denoting by it, some- might, through mere human weaktimes the Holy Scriptures, sometimes ness, have fostered the idea of mysa ceremony or institution of the tery in connection with that saciaChurch, herein perhaps following only ment. the Latin translation of the New Tes
We now plainly perceive that in tament,* as in Col. i. 26, 27; Eph. the days of this ancient Father of the i. 9; v. 32.
Church, the three expressionsBy reflecting carefully upon this
The Ordinances, fact, it is not impossible that we may The Sacraments, solve the difficulty alluded to by
The Mysteries, Dr. M`Neile, with regard to the ap- were all synonymous terms and all plication of the word Mysteries to the applied to the sacred institutions of Sacraments. In his important pam- Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Does phlet entitled “ Baptism doth save,” not this explain the use of the term, the following passage occurs, “ The Holy Mysteries, in our Communion enemies of Gospel truth had invented Service ? And may we not infer that mysteries in the sacraments;
the different senses in which Tertul. puzzling to imagine the origin of this, lian used the word, Sacramentum, but it had been skilfully adapted to gave rise to the perplexities that have secure its intended result.”
gradually led to the sacramental sysIf in discoursing upon the above tem, which is now so strongly acting texts, Col. i. 26, 27, and Eph. i. 9; upon the imaginations of multitudes ? v. 32, Tertullian used the word sacra- The Sacraments are lively reprementum instead of mystery, an im- sentations of the deepest mysteries pression that the terms were synony- of our religion. mous would gradually insinuate itself The sign (or Sacrament) being into the public mind.
often taken for the thing signified, the If the mystery that had been hid word mystery has been applied to from ages,—the mystery made known the sign, and devout and imaginative to the Gentiles,-the mystery of God's persons meditating upon the word will,—the mystery of the union be- inystery, have supposed a mysterious tween Christ and the Church, could transmutation of the sign into the be spoken of as sacraments, how very thing itself. Hence, Transubstantiation
and Baptismal Regeneration. • See Riddle's “Christian Antiquities."
TRUTH AND PEACE.
REVISION OF THE LITURGY.
A SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST AND FOR IT.
By the Rev. C. H. Davis, M.A.,
“ Revise the Liturgy," is a cry which cannot with any truth be affirmed ; has from time to time, since the Savoy but yet the sincere Churchman is Conference in 1661, been again and always apprehensive lest any such again raised in the Church of Eng- proposed revision, if ever carried into land. At the present time a wish for effect, should rather impair than consuch a revision seems to be pre
tribute to the beauties and the exvalent in many quarters.
That cellencies of our admirable Liturgy." such a wish is necessarily and of Accordingly we find that the late itself opposed to the avowed prin- excellent Rev. H. Venn, writing to ciples of the Church of England, as a friend in 1771, made the following declared and laid down in “ the lre- remark, “On Saturday I dined with face" to the Book of Common Prayer, I our bishop. I find he has no objec
tion to a revisal and alteration of the • Second Edition, published by Mr. J. H. liturgy. This change will one day, Jackson, Islington Green, and Paternoster I fear, take place; and then the meaRow, London.
sure of our iniquities will be full, when + See a work entitled " Revision; or, a Wise we have cast the doctrine of Christ and Timely Alteration of the Baptismal Ser. out of the public worship, avowedly vice, &c.” by “ a beneficed clergyman,” (Seeleys, as a nation.”—(Life and Correspon1850); “The Anti. Tractarian,” by Hon. and dence, p. 176.) Not that the sincere Rev. R. Plunket, Dean of Tuam, (Wertheim,
Churchman lays claim to any infalli1850); Letter to Lord J. Russell, on “Scriptural Revision of the Liturgy,” by “a Member the evils, that wer intended to be remedied by of the Middle Temple,” (Groombridge, 1851); such change : So on the other side, the particuLecture at Plymouth on “Revision of the
lar forms of Divine worship, and the Rites and Liturgy," by J. N. Bennett, Esq., (A. Hall, Ceremonies appointed to be used therein, being 1851); Dr. M'Neil's Letter to the Bishop of
things in their own nature indifferent, and Exeter, “Baptism doth save,” (Hatchard, 1851);
alterable, and so acknowledged; it is but reaRuskin's “Notes on the Construction of Sheep
sonable, that upon weighty and important confolds," (Smith and Elder, 1851); and other tracts
siderations, according to the various exigency by Rev. J. R. Pears, Rev. G. Sandby, E. T. of times and occasions, such changes and alteCaulfield, Esq., W. T. Blair, Esq., &c., &c., rations should be made therein, as to those that published in 1850 and 1851; and the “Christian
are in place of Authority should from time to Guardian,” for May, 1850, pp. 238 — 240 ; time seem either necessary or expedient.” (PreAugust, pp. 360, 361; October, pp. 461-464; face to the Book of Common Prayer.) November, pp. 510—512; December, p. 553 ; • Thus the late Rev. E. Bickersteth remarked, Jan. 1851, p. 30; Feb. p. 87; March, p. 97 ; “Our flocks who are in danger, might be preApril, p. 169, and 179; May, p. 193, and 225;
served safe from serious misunderstanding, if Aug. p. 337, (J. H. Jackson.) See also Rev. P.
all would allow the right authorities in Church Gell's “Essay on Spiritual Baptism and Com.
and State to take measures, to leave out, or munion," (Hatchard, 1847.)
slightly change some of those expressions of our I “ It hath been the wisdom of the Church services most liable to perversion, and that have of England, ever since the first compiling of been the chief stumbling-blocks to pious minds. her publick Liturgy, to keep the mean between But the perils and difficulties of obtaining the two extremes, of too much stiffness in re- such a change, from the blindness and unbelief, fusing, and of too much easiness in admitting self-willedness, short-sightedness, and corrupany variation from it. For, as on the one side tion which subsist in all our minds and hearts, common experience sheweth, that where a are obvious. My fear is, lest we should lose change hath been made of things advisedly some testimony to Evangelical truth which we established (no evident necessity so requiring) now have, if not wholly fail of success.” (Desundry inconveniences have thereupon ensued; fence of the Baptismal Services, &c., p. 23, and those many times more and greater than Seeleys, 1850.)
bility in the formularies of his Church.* Indeed it may be the will of God " Imperfections” as the late Bishop that no book but His own- - His own Mant remarks, “may, perhaps, be Revelation—shall be absolutely faultfound in some of her provisions (as in less.* what of human composition will there We adopt, then, the pious tone of a not ?) by those who search for them learned prelate, who truly observes, with an eagle eye,” (Charge of 1842, that “all members of our Church p. 8);+ our Prayer-book, indeed ap- must thank God, that among proaches perfection; but no one either many other national blessings bebelieves or asserts that it is absolutely stowed upon us, we possess a Liturgy, perfect. I
probably the most pure and apostovices which are now generally used laries, were as far as possible obviated. together in the morning, by which an There were many things which did unnecessary repetition of the same or then, there are some things which do similar petitions, may be avoided.”- now, offend the true friends of the (Bishop Short's History of the Church Church of England, who willingly of England, s. 749, p. 546.)
fical which exists. The only question * The truth is, that although some persons
which admits of any doubt is, whether would " like a little alteration here," and others some reasonable objections to it may would willingly "change one or two expressions
not still be obviated; whether some there," in the Book of Common Prayer, yet that verbal alterations may not be made most persons are (to adopt an observation of with advantage ; and a further amalthe Rev. T. Lathbury) “anxious to preserve it gamation take place in the three serunaltered,” and are “unwilling to entertain the question of change, lest something which they themselves value should be recommended
turgy as altogether perfect? I answer, No: it for alteration by others." (Lathbury's History of
is a human composition; and there is nothing Convocation, c. xv. p. 388.) Thus a learned and human that can claim so high a title as that of able writer speaks of the Prayer-book as having
absolute perfection. There are certainly some been brought to a close conformity with primi
few expressions which might be altered for the tive models and with holy writ, and though not
better, and which in all probability would have faultless, yet so free from any important imper
been altered at the Conference which was apfection, as happily to leave for modern hands
pointed for the last revision of it, if the unrealittle cause to attempt that arduous task of
sonable scrupulosity of some, and the unbending liturgical emendation.” (Rev. S. Rowe's Appeal pertinacity of others, had not defeated the object to the Rubric, &c. p. 7., Hatchard, 1841. This
of that assembly." (Simeon's Hore Homileticæ, little work is an admirable, and truly scriptural
vol. ii. No. 136, p. 211.) Again, “ I do not mean commentary on the Liturgy, well worthy of at
however to say, that a slight alteration in two tentive perusal.)
or three instances would not be an improve
ment; since it would take off a burthen from + Thus the late Bishop Mant has observed
many minds, and supersede the necessity of that “ At the era of the Reformation, by the
laboured explanations." (No. 135, p. 200.) Again, agency of her sons, well versed as they were in
“Now then, acknowledging that our Liturgy is the history and writings of the early Ciurch,
not absolutely perfect, and that those who most the Anglican Church compiled her form of
admire it would be glad if these few blemishes prayer for her people, after the likeness, so far
were removed ;" &c. (No. 136, p. 214.) as change of circumstances would permit, in all respects, on the principles of the Catholic
* It has been well observed, that “There is a Church in her purest ages. In the exercise of
natural and not blame-worthy tendency in many a sound judgment upon matters indifferent or
minds to yearn after what is perfect, and even questionable, some things she chose, and others
to expect and demand it. But the more expeshe rejected, and as the progressive light of
rience enlarges and matures their view, the divine knowledge beamed more clearly on her
more will they learn that, in the present disvision, clouded as it had been by the obscurity pensation, perfection is unattainable. It is well, of the mediæval corruptions, she continued to
indeed, to keep a high standard-even the highmake successive improvements, until her Li
est-before us; for, to reach high, we must aim turgy was liberated from all essential error, and
high. But a calm acquiescence, rather than attained comparative perfection." (Charges of
vexation or despair, will be the temper of mind
of one who has learned the lessons of expe1842, p. 10. See also, Bishop Mant's Prayer
rience, even on his twentieth failure to reach Book, pp. vi. vii. viii., and Bishop Jebb's Pastoral Instructions, Discourses iii. and iv.)
the perfection he desires. And a reasonable
attachment to institutions, as well as to persons, | Thus the late Rev. C. Simeon, in his third will be founded, -not on any imaginary but undiscourse on the “ Excellency of the Liturgy," real spotlessness, but on a high degree of excelremarks, "From this view of our subject it will lence.” -(The Morning Herald, of 11th Oct., be naturally asked, Do I then consider the li- 1848.)
comply with the Liturgy and services And when we consider the violence as established by law, because they and the tone with which a revision esteem the Common Prayer Book, as of the Liturgy is urged in some quar- a whole, to be a most excellent comters,* it becomes those who are most position, one wonderfully well suited attached to their Church to consi- to the purposes for which it was inder whether they may not, by a tended; but who, nevertheless, regard little timely change, stem the tide of it as a human production, and thereopposition, and prevent the ultimate fore capable of improvement, as well accomplishment of still greater and as requiring, from time to time, verbal more serious changes in our time- alterations, as the language of the honoured formularies. For the country gradually varies. And the learned Bishop of St. Asaph, speaking quiet friend of reform cannot but of the proposed revision in 1089, feel sorry that this attempt was then truly observes, that “it would surely dropped, and has never since been be desirable, if every objection which carried into effect.” (Bishop Short's a sober and reasonable member of the History of the Church of England, Church might make to these formu- s. 810, p. 593.)*
Nor need we fear the perpetual re* For example, see “Revise the Liturgy," by
currence of capricious changes if, “A Peer,” (Hatchard, 1845); and Nos. 2 and 4
after one revision, the example of of “the Wickliffe Club" tracts, (Partridge and
our American brethren were followed, Oakey, 1849); and some of the speeches at the
who passed an Ordinance, in 1811, London meeting on 28 May, 1851, in a pamphlet entitled, “The Conference on Church Reform."
• Elsewhere Bishop Short, speaking of re(Nisbet, 1851.)
form generally, well observes that “reforms + It has been remarked with some truth that which proceed from those in authority are al“ At present the prevalent feeling of Church- most always safe, and generally beneficial," men is indifference and half allegiance to a (History, &c., s. 584, p. 422); but that “the neChurch with which they are not satisfied, while cessity of reformation will be first visible to the Non-conformists justify their separation by those who suffer most by existing abuses, and dwelling on those particulars in which the the desire of it, therefore, must spring from the Church is supposed to be assimilated to Popery. people; but it can hardly produce good, unless .... The longer the reformation of any institu- it be managed by the upper orders, by men who tion is delayed, the more sweeping the reform are so situated as to perceive the advantage of when it comes.... At present we may hope that institutions, which, however useful in thema correction of our formularies, in a few parti- selves, have become from mismanagement liculars, ....might satisfy tens of thousands, and able to serious objections,” &c. (s. 601, p. 447); give stability to the Church for many genera- hence," a wise and good government will entions. But if this is delayed much longer, the deavour to guide the opinions of its subjects, a eyes which watch for defects will find much bad one will try to resist them; but in human more to correct, and the work will fall some affairs, that nation may be deemed fortunate in day into the hands of enemies instead of friends, which the government gradually follows the who will be too glad if the work of restoration progress of the opinions of its more enlightened should prove one of demolition.” (The One Cure, subjects. (s. 491, p. 332.) With respect then, &c., by Rev. J. R. Pears, pp. 10, 11, and 12. to the Established Church, Bishop Short rePartridge şi Oakey, 1850.) Speaking of those marks, if there be faults but too visible in the who are over-timid lest the Liturgy should be administration of this establishment, let us pray spoiled by any revision, Mr. Pears observes, God that they may be reformed by the steady that even “if nothing was left of the Liturgy,
hand of those invested with legal authority; men would still have liberty to believe and and that neither the dilatoriness, nor the halfteach all that is contained in the word of God, measures, of her real friends, may transfer the and they cannot honestly do more as it is.' task of reformation to those who are hostile to (p. 12.)
the interests of our Church.” (s. 819, p. 597.)
prohibiting changes from that time undeniable facts of the case by which she is forward, « unless proposed at one
surrounded." (The Church and the Churches, Convention, and ratified three years c. viii. pp. 400, 401. 2nd Edit. Seeleys.) afterwards at the next.” (Rev. P.
It must not be forgotten that even our auHall's “ Reliquice Liturgicæ," vol. i.
thorized version of the Bible, excellent as it p. liii.) The Liturgy revised (with a
confessedly is, is susceptible of improvement. caution to change nothing for the
A revision of our present translation has been
recommended by several learned divines ; mere sake of change), and established with some such defence as this, would
among whom may be named the late Bishop thenceforth be free from the danger Gray, of Bristol
, in the concluding pages of the
“Introduction" to his “ Key to the Old Testaof rash and hasty revisions.*
ment,” (pp. 23—25, Tegg's Edition,) and Bishop * For Dr.M'Neile justly reminds us that "the Short, in his “History of the Church of Engipsissima verba of our Church-service, however land,” s. 540, p. 382 ; also Professor Scholefield, excellent, are not given by inspiration of God. of Cambridge. Several editions of the Bible By a slight alteration, very slight, more verbal have of late years appeared, printed in the pathan real, the cause of truth would lose no- ragraph form, with the omission of the “ headthing, and the cause of the Church of England ings” of the chapters, which is a great imwould gain much,, by enabling her attached provement. The two first volumes of a valuable ministers and members to show, with more sim- new edition of the Bible on this plan, have been plicity, and with less need for laborious expla- published by the Religious Tract Society. The nations—which swear to many the appearance “Chronological New Testament "published by of evasion—the harmony of her various official Mr. Blackader, is also a valuable edition framed documents among themselves, and with the on this same plan.
FITNESS FOR THE HOLY WARFARE.
“ The Bishop:- Take heed that the persons whom ye present unto us, be apt and
meet, for their learning and godly conversation, to exercise their ministry duly,
to the honour of God, and the edifying of His Church.” “ The Archdeacon.--I have enquired of them, and also examined them, and think
them so to be.”- The Ordering of Deacons and Priests. In these days of talking and writing “Physician, heal thyself.” Our orabout assumption, aggression, and gans of vision will not permit us encroachment, it will prove, probably, either to perceive the occasion of our one means of prevention and refor- disorder, or enable us to remove it. mation, which we have been invited “ The blind” cannot skilfully perform to take into our own hands,* if each the requisite operations on the body ecclesiastical person in holy orders politic or ecclesiastic. would ask himself, Do I assume, or Now, it is to be feared that, for have I assumed, more than I ought to want of a healthy and free vision, the have done? Have I been guilty of recent period of excitement and proaggression, or, have I encroached on fession of zeal will pass away, withthe province and special duties of out, in many parishes and districts, others ? For, if I have, whilst we any well informed and directed efhave a beam in our own eye, how can fort being made, to cure and “banish” we behold the mote that is in our the grounds of universal complaint; brother's eye? The same, or a greater because the eye of men's understandfault in ourselves, will prevent, and ing is so affected and perverted, and not allow of our so much as impar- withal their heart so evilly biassed, tially searching for the hidden cause that they cannot, in their several of “ all our woes,” In such cases we localities and offices, attempt the civil are physically, as well as morally, and spiritual improvement of the souls disqualified for acting as physicians; committed to their care, without suband we may be met by the reproof, jecting themselves to rebuke. The
* Vide Christian Guardian, p. 361. prophet's description, from the crown