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must have observed, how much the short prayer to be used after the occasional prayers, which speaks of our "being tied "and bound by the chain of our sins," is of this penitential chaBut observe, how it has crept, as it were imperceptibly, into its present position. It was first only to be used after the prayer in public sickness, on an occasion, that is, of public humiliation; but now it almost occupies a place in the general service, as coming after the Prayers in the Ember weeks and others.
9. The Sunday Lessons.
The next point which comes before us is that of the Sunday Lessons, and on this subject it will be sufficient to adduce the testimony of the "Tract for the Times" (No. 13). In this the writer considers that there is a general principle, if not intended, yet at all events evidenced by the selection, as running through it, and a key to which may be found in the 95th Psalm. It is curious to find that the American Prayer Book actually omits the latter part of this Psalm, which the writer considers as so expressive in implying this lesson. This general principle alluded to he shows to be one of admonition, by setting before us the conduct of God's people of old, and God's dealings with them: "that amidst the daily experience we have of Christians "behaving so very differently from what one should expect à
priori in God's elect, unworthy Christians might discern them"selves, by anticipation, in the faithless demeanour of the "Jews." Now, what is this but to remind us that we, like the Jews, have fallen back from our privileges, and that if we do not take heed we shall forfeit the final inheritance also? For it may be observed, that it is the analogy of the Jewish nation which arrests our attention to the fact, and explains to us the later appearances of Christianity as states of degradation.
And may not the compression of the seven canonical Hours into our two daily services be considered also of this character? The Psalmist, indeed, though a Jew, in the state of a servant, yet speaking in the Spirit, anticipates the privileges and language of a son, when he says, "Seven times a day do I praise Thee;"
but we, as if having lost the glad spirit of adoption, which such
10. Changes in the Rubric.
To pass from the matter of our Services themselves, there is a circumstance in the Rubric which will serve as a Comment on these changes in the Prayers.
In the time of Edward the Sixth, and sanctioned by his First Book, it seems to have been the custom for the Prayers to be said by the priest in the chancel, turning to the East. Although this was discontinued in the Second Book (where the Rubric spoke of the place where the people could best hear), during the
1 In the daily prayers there are two peculiarities of our own Church, the one is the position which the prayer for the King occupies before that for the Church; we cannot, humanly speaking, approve of such an anomaly. But may we not perceive in it some design of warning or otherwise? Is it a witness to ourselves of that leaven which has pervaded the Church, and the evil consequences of which we are experiencing, in an Erastian preference of the State to the Church, a badge of the servitude which we have taken on ourselves for want of confidence in GOD, and looking to the temporal power? Or is it not, on the other hand, a warning against that disobedience to authority which has so much infected this nation, and the first indication of the temper of disobedience to GOD, and therefore set first as the foundation of natural piety? The next circumstance is the Prayer for the Parliament, which is, of course, unprecedented. It is remarkable that, at the time of its being first issued, and ever since, the Parliament has been more or less the enemy of God's Church, and exercising an indirect control over it. And yet to pray for them, under such circumstances, is of Divine command, and perhaps the strictest parallel to it will be found in the case of the Israelites (Jer. xxix. 7), "Seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be "carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it; for in the peace thereof "shall ye have peace." This may be applied to both circumstances alluded to.
year and a half of its duration, it seems to have been partially restored by that of Elizabeth, which prescribes "the accustomed "place of the church, chapel, or chancel," which accustomed place cannot, one would think, allude to that of King Edward's Second Book, as a year and a half before the intervening reign of Mary could not of course then be the accustomed place'. But to this it was added, "except it be otherwise appointed by the Ordinary." Whatever the Rubric may have originally intended, the Morning and Evening Prayer seems gradually to have passed from the chancel to the outer church. In Bishop Sparrow's "Ra"tionale," and a note there quoted of Bishop Andrews, the middle of the church is spoken of as the place for the Litany. Whatever may have occasioned it, the fact itself may serve as a practical illustration of what has been said on the substance of the prayers. That we seem thereby gently thrust, as it were, aside, and put off from a nearer approach to the Altar, bid to stand off awhile, and take the lower place, the position of suppliants, at the entrance of the chancel, and to " weep between the porch "and the altar."
It may be noticed that this proceeding typifies, as it were, by external act, another circumstance of our spiritual condition. The mystical interpretations of Holy Scripture are spoken of by the Fathers as the peculiar privilege of sons, as the inner temple of sacred writ, the holier place. In the Breviaries, such spiritual and deep meanings are much brought before us by the verses which are made to answer each other in the responses, and in the lessons from the Fathers. But by our own church they seem scarcely at all openly taught or recognised; perhaps the most remarkable instance of it may be found in the penitential confessions attached to the reading of each of the commandments as broken, which, of course, must apply to the interior sense as explained by the Catechism and indeed in the Rubric in the
1 It is mentioned by Bishop Burnet, that among six Articles discussed by the House of Commons, in the reign of Elizabeth, against the established usages, the first was against Saints' days, the second against turning to the east, the third against the use of the Cross at baptism. These three were therefore at that time considered in the same light. Burnet's Hist. Ref. part iii. book vi.
Scotch Prayer Book, it is said distinctly "according to the mys"tical interpretation." In both of these cases we are set afar off, but yet allowed to draw near, not prohibited from doing so; and indeed it is to be observed that in almost all the subjects that this view embraces, we are not actually excluded from the higher privileges, so much as that they are quietly withdrawn from our sight. And it may be perceived that, through them all, though we have put into our mouths the expressions of servants, yet the language of mercy is ever breaking forth, which, though we come as servants, is ready to receive us as sons. "Is Ephraim my "dear son? is he a pleasant child? for after I spake against him, "I do earnestly remember him still."
In speaking of the Rubric, the substitution of the term "Table," Holy Table," and in the Scotch of " God's Board," for that of "Altar," which is in Edward's First Book (as well as GOD'S "Board,") is a strong instance of this our judicial humiliation. For what is it but to say that the higher mysteries which this word "Altar" represents are,-not taken away from us (μǹ Yévoɩto) -but partially withdrawn from view; and doubtless, therefore, lost to many who "consider not the LORD's body." To the participation, indeed, which the word "Table" implies, all are admitted; but the oblation which the term "Altar" indicates is more removed. Thus they are received at "GoD's Board” indeed, but not made so sensible of the presence of Him who admits them as His guests; and, therefore, as the Jews of old, receive not equally the benefits of His presence. Such a loss is, therefore, doubtless a great one, which withholds the Altar from our due acknowledgment: but who reads not in this the visitation upon children's children of the sacrilegious pollution it has undergone in this country? But still, as observed before, mercy is mixed with judgment, and the case so stands with us that it says, "He that can receive it, let him receive it." privilege, when it is considered that by the last Review, and the insertion of the word "oblations," we have that which prophets and kings have desired to see, what King Charles the First and Bishop Andrews had not. And perhaps what was made the subject of Bishop Andrews' prayer, when for the Church of
England his supplication was that "its deficiencies should be re"stored'." And with regard to the Oblation itself, is not the case significative of our position? for it is not that no oblation is made, for we pray that "our oblations" may be accepted, but that the oblation is made in silence. Is not this silence expressive? May it not be considered eloquently significative, more than any words, of our condition, that the higher part of the service, which looks more like the privilege of sons, is performed in humiliation and silence? In the First Book, when the elements were placed on the Altar, the priest was to say the lauds and anthem.
11. Omission of anointing at Baptism and Confirmation.
There is another circumstance now to be observed, of more importance than any which have been hitherto considered, the entire omission of the use of oil at baptism and confirmation. The practice on both of these occasions appears to have been primitive, universal, and, possibly, apostolical. In the First Book of Edward, it was appointed that the white vesture or chrism should be put on the child baptized with these words:
"Take this white vesture as a token of the innocency, which by "God's grace in this holy sacrament of baptism is given unto "thee."
1 See Bishop Andrews' Devotions. For the second day. Intercession. "In behalf of the Catholic Church,
For her establishment and increase.
"In behalf of the Eastern,
"In behalf of the Western,
"In behalf of the British,
For her freedom and union.
For her restoration and peace.
That her deficiencies may be supplied,
And that what remains in her may be confirmed."
ἐπιδιορθώσεως λειπόντων · ἐν αὐτῷ.
2 In the Sarum Missal we find prayers said in secret on the Oblation. In the Roman Missal the Rubric says "oblatione facta dicuntur orationes secreta."