the other changes: is it not, to recur to a former allusion, is it not, I say, to be received as from Him who repeats so often in the Revelations, "Behold, I come quickly;" and "If thou shalt "not watch, I will come on thee as a thief?" It was observed that on St. John's day, the expression of "walking in the light of "God's truth" was inserted in the Collect. It is curious to observe that this was only taking up the practical lesson and very words of the Epistle, which is from the first of St. John, on obedience as the only test of our acceptance and sincerity: "If we "walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one "with another, and the blood of CHRIST cleanseth us from all sin.” This Epistle, moreover, is itself new in Edward's First Book; that in the Missals being from the 15th chapter of Ecclesiasticus. And indeed the custom of adding to the length of the Epistle in our Church is itself of this character, for it implies more of a practical 00c. Our Church reads more of Scripture as serving for instruction, less as eucharistic and choral, in the manner of the Breviaries.


Take again the new Epistle for St. Simon and St. Jude's day; for it is new as it now is in our Prayer Book. In the Sarum Missal the Epistle is from that to the Romans, chap. viii.; on the very exalted state of the Christian, "Who can separate us from "the love of CHRIST?" et reliqua. In the Roman Missal it is from the Epistle to the Ephesians; the no less exalted description of the Christian privileges (c. iv.); "Till we all come unto a "perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of "CHRIST." Instead of this we have that awful Epistle from St. Jude, of which, compare but the termination with those of the preceding two: "These filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise "dominion, and speak evil of dignities." A solemn warning of the evils of the last days; which is forcibly contrasted with that high confidence expressed in both of the Epistles alluded to in the Missals; and it would appear as if the Collect itself derived

of the Day of Judgment, and connects it with the former manifestations as preparatory. But it may be noticed that this, and all the changes at the last Review, are more expressive of Christian hope; and this slight change of tone may be connected with circumstances hereafter to be observed.

a peculiar interest from its connexion with the Epistle, which speaks of "earnestly contending for the Faith once delivered "unto the Saints."

The observations made on the Collect for Easter Even may be also carried on to the Epistle for that day, which is also new; inasmuch as it bears upon the doctrine spoken of in that Collect, viz. of our being buried with CHRIST in baptism, as strongly as any passage that could be extracted from Scripture: for the lesson which it inculcates is, that we should patiently suffer after the example of CHRIST, and that it is Baptism, containing a good conscience consenting to God, which doth save us. If any other passage in the Epistles states more fully the doctrine of our "being crucified with the world and the world to us," one would think it is the conclusion of that to the Galatians; and it is an interesting fact to perceive that there is only one Epistle in all the Sundays after Trinity for which Mr. Palmer finds no authority in previous Liturgies, that for the fifteenth Sunday, and that Epistle is no other than this passage from the Epistle to the Galatians. One instance more may be mentioned; on the fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, the Epistle is one substituted for another in the Sarum from the same chapter; and the subject of it is on submission to appointed authorities; and it is curious to notice that this Lesson here substituted, as it were by accident, for another, has been one so necessary from the times ensuing, that an Epistle similar to it from St. Peter has been since appointed three times in the State Services.

11. Service for Passion Week.

What has been said of the Collect and Epistle for Easter Even, may be considered as furnishing a key to the better understanding of the Services for that week, which are peculiar. We find that in the Breviaries, the Prophet Jeremiah is very much used at this time; and in Edward's First Book, the Lessons for this day and

1 The reason for the substitution seems to have been, that the one in the Sarum had been added to that for Advent Sunday.

the Thursday are from the same Prophet: whereas our own has entirely adopted the historical narrative of His sufferings, and the Collect for the week sets before us the example of our SAVIOUR as the point of view in which the season is considered, and thus gives us the spirit of our own Church as being peculiarly and entirely practical. The tone of other Churches is that of sympathy; ours of admonition. Others have the language of the Lamentations, such as might become the blessed Virgin at the cross, or "the beloved Disciple;" ours is as if our LORD turned and said, "Weep not for me, but weep for yourselves "and for your children:" or 66 Not every one that saith unto me, "LORD, LORD... but he that doeth the will of my FATHER." A comparison with the Breviaries will strongly indicate this peculiarity; for there is, perhaps, nothing in which we differ more from the Breviaries than we do in the Services for Passion Week. The Epistle for Good Friday also appears to be new; and its position must strike every one, as bringing forward the Divinity of our LORD on that occasion, as the very central doctrine from which others emanate and diverge in various ways; the denial of which is the consummation of "lawlessness" of the latter days, and to which all disobedience and disloyalty in heart and practice to our SAVIOUR necessarily tends. And it is placed at this point, it would seem, by way of protection, lest, when the example of our LORD is so much urged, we should forget how infinitely holy the ground is on which we stand. And yet, coming round to the previous lesson of obedience, it ends with these remarkable words: "Let us hold fast the profession of our "faith without wavering, provoking unto love and good works; exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day "approaching."

[ocr errors]

There appears, in other points, a certain preparation pervading the Liturgy as it has come down to us, as if against a time when the "love of the many shall have waxed cold," and "he who "endureth to the end" may be singular. In Edward's Second Book there was this rubric; "And there shall be no celebration "of the LORD's Supper, excepting there be a good number to "communicate with the priest :" and in Edward's First Book, the

priest was not required to say the daily Service without a congregation. The present rubric must be considered as a rule providentially preserved, of great value, containing, as it does, a silent witness by which the Church does what she can to provide both for the personal holiness of her ministers, and also to preserve their intercessory character, keeping the rule in that quiet reserve peculiar to her. To these may be added the Prayer of St. Chrysostom, introduced out of the usual course, from the Greek and not from the Latin, holding forth the blessing, “where two or "three are gathered together," as if by an anticipation that it might come to this, that two or three only might be found, which is now often the case.

12. The Vow of Obedience at Baptism new.

But now all the circumstances as yet spoken of may be considered as in a manner but external and preliminary to two important changes, expressive of this principle, which have found their place in the inner sanctuary of our religious worship. Or rather the things alluded to may be looked upon as forming something of a new and peculiar system, raised imperceptibly, with no noise or sound heard in the temple, by an invisible Hand, and of which the change first to be mentioned, is, as it were, the key-stone. It is a new and distinct vow introduced into our Baptismal promise, which did not find a place there till the last Review in the year 1661: the third vow, as it now stands; that of obedience: "Wilt thou then obediently keep God's holy will "and commandments, and walk in the same all the days of thy "life?"

The promise was indeed alluded to in the Catechism, as it now is, from the time of King Edward's First Book; and even had it not been, it would of course be thoroughly implied; and the same may be said of all the other alterations spoken of, for of course obedience is, in every Church, the beginning and end of all Christianity. But what is maintained is, that it brings out in an express and declaratory manner, and lays a stress and emphasis on certain words as in an earnest admonition, by which a peculiar

tone and character is given to the command, so as to convey a new force. All, therefore, that has been said of the Services in general may in this light be considered as but indications of this new Baptismal engagement, which thus pervades the whole Prayer Book with its own appropriate and distinctive marks. And sometimes even in its own Baptismal words, as in the Collect for Easter Even, and in a trifling change in the translation of that for the 18th after Trinity, where "vitare diabolica "contagia" is rendered, " to withstand the temptations of the world, "the flesh, and the devil." Adopting in the translation words from the Baptismal service.

13. Other peculiarities new in the Baptismal service.

Indeed the deep and humbling tone of mortification which the above Prayer for Easter Even expresses, is throughout the characteristic of our own Baptismal office. We find the Prayer after Baptism going off from the Latin form (given in the Origines Liturgica), into these words entirely its own, "We beseech "Thee to grant that he being dead unto sin, and living unto righteousness, and being buried with CHRIST in His death, may "crucify the old man, and utterly abolish the whole body of "sin; and that as he is made partaker of the death of Thy "SON, he may also be partaker of His resurrection." In the Latin there is none of this, but only that they may "preserve "what they have received by integrity of life." Another ancient form in the same place is strongly contrasted in its tone with



[ocr errors]

Compare also the circumstances and Prayers of Baptism in Edward's First Book, with those which we now have. The immersion in the former is followed by this prayer :

"Take this white vesture for a token of the innocence which, "by God's grace, in this holy Sacrament of Baptism, is given "unto thee; and for a sign whereby thou art admonished, so long "as thou livest, to give thyself to innocency of living." Instead of this we have the signing with the Cross, and the Prayer connected with it, "of not being ashamed to confess the Faith of

« VorigeDoorgaan »