[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

words, and who now alloweth us to see this contrast, added to them, "Yet now be strong, for I am with you, saith the LORD of "HOSTS. According to the word that I covenanted with you, "when ye came out of Egypt, so my SPIRIT remaineth among you." It is on this promised presence of CHRIST, who hath covenanted to abide with His Church, that these observations are founded. With regard to the general principle, of course, the only question can be, whether our Church has done any thing to forfeit those promises. But this, we may confidently trust, is not the case. Strong judicial withdrawings doubtless there may have been, and withholdings of light, as indicating a threatened removal of that candlestick itself, in which the light is placed, if we repent not. But those essentials, to which the promise has been annexed, have not been forfeited, while we retain those Mysteries which are "necessary to salvation;" and Divinely-commissioned stewards to convey them. And with regard to an Apostolic form of Liturgy, the Church in all ages has allowed, that, as long as the substance continues the same, circumstantial varieties are permitted to particular Churches. This, Mr. Palmer maintains, in his "Origines Liturgicæ;" and Hooker implies the same. "No doubt," says he, "from God it hath proceeded, and by us "it must be acknowledged a work of His singular care and provi"dence, that the Church hath evermore held a prescript form of common prayer, although not in all things every where the same, yet for the most part retaining still the same analogy. So that "if the Liturgies of all ancient Churches throughout the world be compared amongst themselves, it may be easily perceived they "had all one original mould'." So that in these things we have not forfeited the promise. And surely if the use made of the Septuagint version in the New Testament furnishes us with a Scriptural proof that this translation of the Scriptures was conducted under the control of that SPIRIT from which those Scriptures themselves proceeded, notwithstanding alterations made in the text, and the persons engaged in that work: in like manner may we regard even the alterations which have taken place in our



[ocr errors]

1 B. v. c. 25. 2.

Liturgy. It may be we do not approve of the persons, or of the motives which produced them. It may be that those changes took from us a part of our ancient inheritance; yet, should we not rather say, with a religious caution, that the same Hand which has mercifully afforded us so much beyond our deserts, has in justice withdrawn such higher privileges for our unworthiness? And if we show ourselves meet to receive them by a pious use of what remains, then it may be we shall have them more fully restored. Or may they not be withholden in mercy, no less than in justice, as injurious to an age that cannot receive them but to condemnation, according to the words of a Latin hymn,

"Quam nos potenter allicis?
Te, CHRISTE, quando detegis,
Te quando celas, providus
Nobis peræque consulis."

TRANSFIG. DOM. Paris. Brev.

To recur to the reference just made to the Septuagint. If, as St.
Augustin maintains', the same SPIRIT, which was in the Prophets
when they spake, was in the translators of the Septuagint when
they interpreted, expressing the same things differently, in the
same manner that He does by different Prophets in Scripture,
and omitting, or adding, or altering, as best suited the wisdom of
His purpose; so also the omissions and additions and alterations
in our own Liturgy, we may reverently trust, were ordered by
the same SPIRIT under whose control the first rites of Catholic
worship were ordained. For if the presence of CHRIST still con-
tinues in His Church, in what circumstances can we conceive His
Divine control to be more exerted than in regulating these, Value
changes? For rituals and forms of prayer, however unimpor-
tant in human eyes, assume a very high character and value
when considered as the appointed means of access from man to
GOD; as methods of approach to Him, which He has Himself
provided, and of which we are bound to make use, for as indi-
viduals we have no choice;-as moreover objects of sacred asso-




1 De Civitate Dei, lib. xviii. c. 43.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

sational ciation to which the affections of good men will naturally become
attached from use, and the more attached the better they are; as
instruments, however mean in man's estimation, which serve as
yehicles through which healing and virtue go forth from CHRIST
to restore our souls' maladies; as moulds of thought and expres-
sion to those suits which, in the majestic words of Hooker1, "the
ald“ ALMIGHTY doth there sit to hear, and angels, intermingled as

66 associates, attend to further."

This consideration will afford a high value and importance to many changes in themselves apparently trivial; and it must be remembered that the lessons of Divine wisdom are often written in the very smallest characters, and that it is not from single letters or syllables, but from the combination of them, when carefully put together, that those lessons are to be understood. The proof will consist more in an accumulation of a number of little detached accidents, all tending collectively to one great purport or effect, than in any signal revolutions or events. It is necessary therefore to claim a patient attention to each, and assent is only required, if the evidence for the whole appears to bear out the case. Each point may be but slight in itself, yet all these in their connexions one with another may be such as to form a perceptible and distinct chain, partially indeed interrupted by clouds from our view, yet such as may be seen to extend far beyond the reach of man's contrivance, so as to show that it can be no other chain than that which is suspended from the throne of GOD.

[ocr errors]

3. The three divisions of the argument.

These indications of a superintending Providence will be considered in regard to three points into which the subject naturally resolves itself in its various bearings.

The first is, that these changes through a long course of time have one prevailing character, and that so deeply and so gently infused, as to prove no human intention, and so extensive as to imply a design beyond the limited range of man's foresight.

1 B. v. c. 25. 2.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Secondly, that they are replete with Providential remedies and warnings against those peculiar evils which have since arisen, and are likely to increase in the last days, as Scripture has foretold.

And, thirdly, that changes in the external condition of the Church, and its pervading peculiarities, harmonize with those that are internal, so as to indicate one controlling design and purpose.

In all these cases it will, I think, appear, that though in tracing historically these alterations, external circumstances were not such as we could have wished or approved, yet that, notwithstanding, there has resided in the Church a Divine life, a power of assimilating, and converting, and turning into nourishment, heterogeneous, and often hurtful substances. And thence it has happened that, notwithstanding the worldly influences to which she has been subject, the King's Daughter, though she has passed through the fire, has been in misfortune, and is in captivity, yet, under all changes, is still "glorious within," and "her clothing "of wrought gold."

tuen but wh

4. That we have given

terminala pada konge widt

us the language of servants rather
than sons.

The first point which I would wish to show is, that through these alterations there runs one prevailing tendency, to put into our mouths the language of servants rather than that of sons. Now, though it may be matter of doubt whether the Reformation was in all respects what the name imports, or whether it were brought about in general by motives of sincere repentance, yet it must be allowed that it was a call to repentance on the part of GOD, a call to the Church to return to her first love and repent ; and that it was on the part of man a profession of repentance. Previously therefore to, and independently of, any proof, it seems not unreasonable to suppose, that, as in the case of an individual, so also with the Church at large, He who sees the returning penitent afar off, and hastens to meet him, should also put those

becoming words into his mouth, by which he confesses himself
to have forfeited the claim of sonship, and to be willing to be
received in a lower state.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

First of all, to turn our attention to the Collects, and the
alterations made respecting them. They are indeed not many,
but consist either in the entire rejection of the older, and the
substitution of a new form, or in the adaptation of another old
one, or else in a slight change of expression, in the process of
their passing into the English form. When we compare them,
as they now stand, with earlier Liturgies, and endeavour to
ascertain the causes of the changes, we do not find, I think, that
the rejections or alterations of the ancient prayers have taken
place merely on account of "the interpolations of things false
"and superstitious "" as is usually stated to be the case. But
one thing I cannot but observe, that, whether designedly or not,
these changes seem to have one drift, and bear one way, in the
point alluded to, namely this, that entire Collects, or expressions
in them, which imply the privileges of the faithful, or spiritual
rejoicing, as of sons, are dropped; and prayers substituted in a
lower tone.

To take the first Collect in Advent. It is one newly intro-
duced, and though it is mainly remodelled on the language of the
Epistle and Gospel, Mr. Palmer gives a Latin prayer which he
it to resemble. The difference in the two forms con-
sists in this-we find that in the ancient form there are the words
"who rejoice according to the flesh for the coming of Thine only
"begotten Son"." These are not in ours, but we have instead
the sentence, "in the time of this mortal life, in which Thy Son
"JESUS CHRIST came to visit us in great humility."

Proceeding to Christmas-day, we find in King Edward's First

1 See Bishop Mant's Common Prayer, on the Collects.

2" Qui de Adventu Unigeniti tui secundum carnem lætantur."

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »