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and are of another tone; the first of these is, "The LORD is in "His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him'." The next from Mal. i. 11. "From the rising of the sun even "unto the going down of the same, My name shall be great among "the Gentiles and in every place incense shall be offered unto
My name and a pure offering: for My name shall be great among "the Heathen, saith the LORD of Hosts ;" and the third, "Let the "words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be alway acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength and my Re"deemer"."
Now these texts of Scripture in our Prayer Book are followed by the Exhortation, which, it is needless to observe, is of the same character, viz. that of a call to repentance. Indeed, how much exhortation and such appeals indicate a low and decayed state, as the natural remedies for it, will appear from the great tendency to Sermons since the Reformation. At the same time it should be observed, in the words of one whose sentiments are ever to be remembered with affectionate esteem, that such passionate appeals to the feelings, as these often are, would not be so objectionable in themselves, if they were given outside the Church, and not allowed to occupy the place of Religious Worship.
We then come to the Confession. It is needless to show how deeply it is pervaded with this penitential tone. It appears new in itself, and also new in this place in the service, in which it is not supported by much authority in antiquity, excepting perhaps a passage referred to by Bishop Sparrow, and other ritualists, from St. Basil, professing it to be their custom to begin with Confession. May we not trust that these strong words of preparatory humiliation are put into our mouths by Him who spake the same language in His Church of old, under circumstances not dissimilar to our own? For it may be observed, that in the time of the captivity, and in the return from it, the prayers of Daniel, of Ezra, and of Nehemiah, in behalf of their people, begin with a Confession, the very words of which might be put into our mouths at the Reformation. And these Prayers of humiliation
1 Hab. ii. 20.
2 Ps. xix. 14.
3 The late Mr. Froude.
4 See Mr. Palmer, vol. i. p. 213. Antiquities of the English Ritual.
may be contrasted with that of Solomon, which commences with blessing and thanksgiving.
But there is still something wanting before we are allowed to approach GOD with the Christian's Prayer, and to use the language of the spirit of adoption; and this is the Absolution. A more merciful provision, than that it should have been preserved and occupied this place, can scarce be conceived.
Such a commencement, therefore, may prove the characteristic of our Church, as expressive of the position in which God has placed us. It might be said that these introductory parts were insertions in the 2nd Book of Edward, by the intervention of foreigners, who, having shorn and left us bare of so much that is holy and valuable, have necessarily put us into a degraded condition. But it must be remembered, that our object is to divest ourselves of the consideration of secondary agents; to drop all consideration of individuals, as such, is the peculiar privilege and duty of all true members of the Catholic Church. Such deprivations were doubtless judicial; but it may be shown hereafter, how overruling mercies blend with those judgments, frustrating the designs of men; and our purpose is to trace indications of our peculiar dispensation beyond the influences or intention of any set of persons.
8. The general tone and spirit of our Prayer Book.
The next point which may be observed, as showing the difference which pervades our own Prayer Book, is a certain spirit, which characterizes the whole tenor of it. We cannot look into Breviaries and Missals without observing their high choral tone in distinction from our own. To advert to particulars; we have the ancient Kúpte élénσov, but have not the Hallelujahs; which indeed, in the solemn accents of the ancient Hebrew form, are so frequent in other Churches, that they remind one of the high evangelical promises alluded to in the Apocrypha, "The "streets of Jerusalem shall be paved with beryl,—and all her "streets shall say Allelujah'." The Introitus, or Psalm introducing
1 Tobit xiii. 17, 18.
the Communion, we have lost. The Hosannah, at the end of the Trisagion, the Gloria Deo at the Gospel (excepting as observed by traditionary use), are omitted. In King Edward's First Book were the words in the Communion, "Let us keep a joyful and holy "Feast with the Lord;" these find no place in ours'. But we have a penitential responsory on having broken each of the Commandments, and a peculiar prayer of humiliation as unworthy "to gather up the crumbs under the table." We have indeed the Gloria in Excelsis, but removed to the Post-Communion, and usually said kneeling. Add to this, that we are even to this day without Canonical Hymns, notwithstanding all efforts to obtain them; but instead of Psalms 2 and Spiritual Songs, even our Thanksgiving assumes the shape, and soon falls into the language of Prayer like them of old in a condition in some degree analogous to our own, "we sit down and weep, when we remember "thee, O Sion; as for our harps, we hang them up upon the trees "that are therein." Of the few hymns which we have at the end of the version of the Psalms, one is "the humble suit of a sin66 ner;" and two are "the lamentations of a sinner." With such a beautiful and touching adaptation to our position does the silence and the language of our Liturgy seem to conspire, all brought about by the influence of that unseen Hand, that changes night into day and summer into winter, by an imperceptible process that
1 The Service for Easter Day in Edward the VIth's First Book commenced with a high and triumphant anthem, appointed to be used "afore matins," with repeated Hallelujahs. This anthem is indeed retained on that day, but instead of ushering in the Service, it is used for the 95th Psalm, and has two verses prefixed to it, as they now stand in the nature of warning, viz., of keeping the Feast" with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
2 With regard to the daily appointed Psalms, is it not the case that the quantity of Psalms read in our own Church is less than that in any other, the quantity of the other parts of Holy Scripture (i. e. for doctrine and admonition), which are read continuously, more than in any other? The entire Psalter in the Roman and Parisian Breviaries is read through in a week; in our own it serves for a month. It is also curious to observe, that in the Breviaries the Lectios from Scripture and the Fathers occur in the Nocturns or Night services; the hymns in those for the Day. For night may of course be considered, when compared with the day, as the house (or season) of Mourning.
none can mark. The roll put into our hand has lamentation written on it. "Praise," says the Son of Sirach," is not seemly "in the mouth of a sinner, for it was not sent him of the Lord'."
Again, from the Prayer "for the Church militant," we have excluded the more solemn commendation to GOD, and prayer for the Dead; this is a moving thought, for may we not venture to consider it in this light, that we are by this exclusion, as it were, in some degree disunited from the purer communion of those departed Saints who are now with CHRIST, as if scarce worthy to profess ourselves one with them? For the dead who are the objects of prayer are such as are considered in a state of comparative if not complete blessedness; to pray for such in any condition, and for their perfection, is the privilege of saints rather than the office of servants. And in the Prayer of Oblation, the beautiful mention of Angelic ministries, as bearing our supplications into the presence of the Divine Majesty, is lost: as if thereby (to follow the former train of reflection) we were not to be considered meet to be of that sacred society, who are come to the Mount Sion," to "the innumerable company of angels," any more than to that of" the spirits of just men made perfect"." But instead of these the higher and more inspiring commemoration of the spirits of the blessed, and the mention of good angels, we have introduced into our offices an awful service of " Commination" to the living; and in it an appeal, combining the most fearful denunciations to be found in Scripture, forming an office peculiar to ourselves3.
Moreover, other churches have had their Litanies in times of public calamity, when "God's wrath lies hard upon them;"
1 Ecclus. xv. 9.
2 And yet the silence, or rather the slight and touching mention of these subjects, is perhaps the most becoming expression of humiliation that could be made after the great abuse of such prayers.
3 In the First Book of Edward this service was appointed for Ash Wednesday; in the second it is added in the Rubric "to be used divers times in the year;" this Rubric, and that which now stands, produce no practical difference, yet tend more to diffuse the spirit of it into the Church, as a characteristic.
"These Litanies were at first composed by the Fathers in the primitive "Church solemnly to be used for the appeasing of GOD's wrath in public evils."
but to us our own is given as our weekly, nay our almost daily food. And not only so, but it has come to be that of our Sundays also; for it is remarkable, that it was first appointed only for the Wednesday and Friday. How much this contributes to the tendencies alluded to is very evident, in that it infuses so strongly penitential a tone into the Sunday itself. But no intention of this kind is attributed to those who introduced it, but only that of a more solemn service'. And the Litany itself, if it differs from former supplications of the kind, it is in this, that it appears to be a combination of every most moving petition, and a deprecation of every evil of body and mind to which guilty sinners are subject, and penitent sinners are brought to the sense of. This peculiar os of our own Church will be seen by a reference to the American. For the most part adhering to our own Prayer Book (excepting in the Communion Service, which is more primitive), it will sometimes, by the mere influence of its own inherent difference of spirit, or led by the tendencies of later times, as it were inconsiderately, start aside from its parent's hand. We find, by a slight direction inserted before the Kúpte ¿Xéŋoov, that the most solemn and penitential part of the Litany from thence to the prayer, "We humbly beseech Thee," may be omitted at the discretion of the minister.
Another trifling circumstance may be noticed. Every body
And further on: "they were afterwards augmented by Gregory the Great, Bishop "of Rome, in whose time there was much affliction and trouble throughout the "world." Hooker, quoted by Bishop Cosins on the Litany.
1 How expressive of this change in our condition is our custom of kneeling on Sunday instead of standing, as the ancient Church used to do on that day, and through the baptismal season from Easter to Pentecost. This custom we have left off with the white baptismal robes. Add to which, the remarkable tendency in this country to hold Sunday in something of the spirit of a Fast. It might be supposed, indeed, that this is owing to the neglect of the weekly Fast, for if religion is only solemnly thought of on one day in the week, that day must be a day of mourning; and they who are not buried with CHRIST in His death, He raises not to the joy of His resurrection. But even this is not sufficient to account for it. Is it not the case in Germany, that Sunday is a day of festal rejoicing, though they keep no day of humiliation? These remarks on the Sunday are the more important, as it is the Sunday which gives the tone and character to our religion,