« VorigeDoorgaan »
covenant, before which the daily offering never ceaseth to be offered morning and evening,—these are our strength and salvation, and are of far greater use and security to our people and to our land, than all the watchfulness of our senators, or policy of our ambassadors, or valour of our mighty men."-Dr. Bisse, Rationale on Cathedral Worship, pp. 53, 54.
31. T. S.-".... the corruptions and cruelties of the Church of Rome, made those that justly opposed her in many things, to forsake others, without any other reason but the hatred of being like to her who had been so cruel towards them. And among these, I reckon this to be the chief, that they not only left off the daily offices of God's publick worship, but also that ancient order for the performance thereof on the LORD's day, which was most accommodate," &c.-Preface to a book intituled "Advice to the Readers of the Common Prayer, &c., by T. S. [possibly, Dr. Thomas Smith, the friend of Bishop Ken] 1683."
32. "Hereby (by the use of our Liturgy) we shall be greatly assisted in holy meditations (while our minds will be stored with abundance of excellent matter for the same), and in educating our children religiously, in keeping our families in unity and order, and performing the worship belonging to the same, and many other great benefits that we shall experience in a devout attendance on the daily service of GoD in publick appointed by this Church; by which means they will also be more confirmed in their love hereunto, and become examples to others, who will be more effectually drawn to their duty, by observing the practice of this way of piety, than by disputations about it."-Ibid. sub fin.
33. "I was lately told of an order in some Lutheran churches, whose service consists chiefly in singing the Psalms of David to the praise and glory of GoD, and songs of love and honour to our blessed SAVIOUR, composed by excellent persons among themselves: they have twice a day assemblies for this service; and that all may know what is to be sung, there is a table hung up at the entrance of the church, where it is written down what Psalms and Songs are appointed for the day; and the people (coming early to church) go first to this place, and take
notice what they are to sing, and look it out ready before the service begins."-Advice to the Readers, &c. p. 30.
34. "Whereas we have an order most profitable and comfortable to pious minds (viz. to have public prayers daily, that those who are not hindered by necessary provisions for themselves and family, or other works of justice and mercy, may constantly enjoy the heavenly delights of God's house, in Christian communion and fellowship of the SPIRIT (which certainly are above any can be found elsewhere), and for a freedom whereunto a plentiful estate is more desirable than upon any other account whatsoever): yet notwithstanding this, many of the richest and most leisurely persons never take care that this order be observed in their own parish churches; and when it is, will scarce ever come there, but make that which should give them the greatest advantage and obligation to come, to be a hindrance thereunto: I mean that men make use of their riches to run themselves into such vast trades and troublesome projects, whereby they are so incumbered with cares and labours, that they are less at leisure for God's service than the poor and indigent; or else (if they incline more to pleasure than profit) they take no care to order their carnal divertisements, that they may be no hindrance to the service of God, but make them more joyful and zealous therein (though this they ought to do); but suffer these to ingross all their time and exhaust all the vigour and strength of their minds, that either they never come to church at all (at least on weekdays), or if they do, they are more ready to sleep than pray, and are far from taking such delight in these spiritual exercises as they find in carnal recreations: nay, many I have observed that will stand altogether idle and unemployed (a thing that seems tedious to nature itself), and yet will not divert themselves with going to church; and in this I have observed the female sex most guilty, who being not so subject to be incumbered with business as men, and often wanting opportunity of company, sports, and pastimes, have nothing else to do; and yet living near the churches where prayers are daily read, seldom or never come there."-Advice to the Readers, &c. pp. 132, 133.
35. "That the Church hath well appointed these daily offices
of divine worship, it being agreeable to reason and the divine prescription to the Jews, and the customs of the wisest and most civilized of the Gentiles ;-this, and much more that might be said of like nature, being so evident, I must believe those kind of men, that think our daily attendance at prayers is being righteous over-much, are not moved hereunto by any thing of reason or sober consideration; but are wholly influenced by pride or covetousness, or other carnal affections which hinder the exercise of their rational faculties, &c. The second sort to whom I shall apply myself, and for whose sake I chiefly undertook this work, is such as have a love for these holy offices, and daily frequent them; to whom my earnest request is, that they will persist in the good way they have begun, attend to the best manner of performance, and make all the rest of their lives answer to the devotion herein. For the first of these, I doubt not but such who do understand the grounds and reasons upon which this way of our public service was first ordered, and have taken up this practice, not upon some carnal and secular accounts (as may sometimes happen), but in a sense of their duty to GoD and man: I say, these will, I hope, easily and effectually comply with my desire, and save me the labour of arguments. The inward peace and satisfaction they will find in governing themselves in this matter by reason and not by fancy, and in following the universal custom and usage of Christians for many ages, and of most even in this, and not that of heretiques and schismatiques ; in obeying the orders of our own Church, made with the greatest advice and by the most unbiassed persons of any in the world; and not herding with Quakers, Fifth-monarchy-men, Anabaptists, and other turbulent sects that oppose the same and seek its ruin; in finding all that was good and profitable, all that was decent and solemn, all that was truly primitive or any way praiseworthy in the service of the Church of Rome, still retained in ours, &c. I say, the satisfaction they will find in considering the excellency of our Form of divine service will prevent all inclination to turn into other ways."—Advice to the Readers, &c. p. 138. 141.
36. "I do heartily congratulate the happy success of such ministers, who in conscience of their assent and consent to the
orders of this Church, have taken upon them the constant daily reading of the Common Prayer in their parish churches. that do not make the backwardness of their people to come to prayers a pretence for their own neglect (when they never tried how forward they would be if they had opportunity and good instruction). . . . . they have found success beyond their expectation, the numbers of those that have attended the prayers being much greater than what others do ordinarily suggest to be likely," &c.
DAILY PRAYERS IN AND ABOUT THE CITY (1683).
"At St. Aldermanbury, at 11 Morn. and 5 Even. Being given by a pious person for one year, with promise of settling it for ever, if it be attended by any considerable number in that time. 'Tis a thousand pities future generations should be hindered of such a benefit by the indevotion of this."—Advice to the Readers, &c. pp. 115. 168.
37. BP. JEREMY TAYLOR.-" Between this (morning) and noon usually are said the publick prayers appointed by authority, to which all the clergy are obliged, and other devout persons that have leisure to accompany them."-Bp. Jeremy Taylor, Holy Living, p. 39.
38. Br. FELL.-" If I require a constant diligence in offering the daily sacrifice of prayer for the people, at least at those returns which the Church enjoins, the usual answer is, they are ready to do their duty, but the people will not be prevailed with to join with them. . . . . . And so when the minister has thoroughly accused his flock, he thinks he has absolved himself, his church becomes a sinecure and because others forbear to do
their duty, there remains none for him to do. But, my brethren if our people be negligent, we are the more obliged to industry; if they are indevout, we ought to be more zealous; if they are licentious, we ought to be more. exemplary. Nor let any man say, the people will not be prevailed upon: how know we what will be hereafter? They who resisted one attempt may yield unto another; or if they yield not to a single instance, they may to many and more pressing," &c.-From Bishop Fell's Charge to his Clergy, 1685.
39. ROBERT NELSON.-"Q. Is the obligation [of attending publick worship] sufficiently discharged by going to church on Sundays and holy days?
A. "It is to be wisht, that all Christians were constant in attending the publick worship on Sundays and holy days; because 'tis likely 'twould dispose them to repeat such exercises of devotion with greater frequency. But considering that among the Jews there was a morning and evening sacrifice daily offered to GOD at the Temple; and that the precepts of the Gospel oblige us to pray always,' and to 'pray without ceasing;' and that the ancient prophets expressly declare that there should be as frequent devotion in the days of CHRIST, as there had been in former times; that 'prayer shall be made unto Him continually, and daily shall He be praised:'-considering these things, I say, as prayer, the Christian sacrifice, should be offered morning and evening in public assemblies; so they that have such opportunities, and are not lawfully hindered, should endeavour so to regulate their time, as to be able constantly to attend such a great advantage to the Christian life. And as those who have leisure cannot better employ it, so they must have but little concern for the honour and glory of GoD, that neglect such opportunities of declaring and publishing His praise."-Nelson's Fasts, p. 440, 3d edit. 1705.
40. BISHOP BURNET.-"Though there is still much ignorance among their [the Roman] mass priests; yet their parish priests are generally another sort of men: they are well instructed in their religion; lead regular lives, and perform their parochial duties with a most wonderful diligence. They do not only say