Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

ready, all things being fitted in their chambers for that intent; when ready, I say, they resort into a large great chamber fairly hung, where in winter before that hour is a good warm fire made by a servant, whose constant office it was (for every servant had their cue). There they always found Nicholas Ferrar ready to attend their coming. At this Sunday morning, as at others in the week-day, they repeated unto him such chapters and psalms as each were to give an account of without book. Then they retired themselves, and this day made their selves all more comely in their best attires, he persuading all sorts to be decent, neat, cleanly in their apparel, as a thing well-pleasing to God and man.

29. About nine o'clock the bell rung to go to church; then all assembled first up into the great chamber; then, all come, there was a hymn sung, and the organs played to it: which ended, each person said some sentence of scripture, such as they thought good, and so all went down to church (which stood by, -paces from the house, at the end of the garden), in decent order two and two together, the three masters in gowns leading the way, and the young youths in black gowns following them. Nicholas Ferrar led his mother, his two brothers, John Ferrar and Mr. Collett, going before her (after the children), and then followed their

1 " About forty," says Lenton in his letter.
2 A young youth.Laud's Troubles and Tryal, 60g.

[ocr errors]

sister Collett and her daughters, and so all the servants, two by two : each as they came into the church making low obeisance', taking their places, the masters in the chancel, and the boys kneeling úpon the upper step, which ascended up into the chancel from the church: the reading place and pulpit standing, each opposite to the other, by two pillars, at the ascent into the chancel, the one on the right hand, the other on the left, close to each side of the wall: old Mrs. Ferrar and all her daughters going into an isle of the church, that joined on the north side, close at the back of the readingplace, where all the women sat always. Nicholas

1 Lenton in Peckard, 300, 301. His account is thus distorted in the libellous “Arminian Nunnery.“At the entrance whereof (of the chapel] this priestlike deft deacon made a low obeisance, a few paces farther lower, and coming to the half-pace which is at the east end where the altered table stood, he bowed and prostrated himself to the ground."-Hearne’s Langtoft, cxxxiv. The original says expressly “the communion-table, not altar-wise, as reported.”-Peckard, 298. The old custom here spoken of was charged upon Laud, when accused of high treason (Troubles and Tryal, 312, cf.313, 315, 316): Dr. Featly testifies, That there were bowings at the coming into the chapel, and going up to the communion-table." See Laud's answer (ibid.), Bramhall's Works (Angl. Cath. Libr.), v. 77, Bingham, Antiqu. viii. 6, § 12, 10, S7, and especially Jer. Taylor's tract, lately discovered, On Reverence to the Altar, Heylin's Introduction to Cypr. Angl. sect. 18, and the work itself, 378, 407, 409, Prynne's learned “QuenchCoale" (4to, 1637), 240-314, Crofton's Altar-worship; or bowing to the Communion-Table considered, 12mo, 1661.

Ferrar being in his surplice and hood' (for so in it he always went to church) stepped up into the reading-place, and there said divine service, and responses were made by all present, and the reading psalms were done so. This performed, being returned home, those that had the office (which were the elder nieces and some others of the family) in summer-time went and sat in a gallery, in winter in a room where a good fire was. Then they called the psalm-children to them, to hear them repeat without book their psalms. These psalm-children thus heard repeat their psalms, not only what they now learned that week (for which they were to have for each psalm a penny', and

1 The zeal with which the puritans denounced the surplice as popish and antichristian may be seen in Hooker, v. 29, Morton's Defence of the innocencie of the three ceremonies, &c., and the answers of Ames, Herbert's Epigr. Apolog. 14. The authorities on the other hand required that all lecturers do read divine service according to the Liturgy ... in their surplices and hoods. (Laud's Troubles and Tryal, 517, 519, 521). Indeed Mr. Carlyle can discover in Laud nothing better than a fondness for “four surplices at Allhallow-tide;" a constantly recurring formula. More impartial students will not suffer their dislike of what Mr. Carlyle calls “ritual mummeries" to make them blind to the archbishop's energy, integrity, great learning and well-directed munificence.

3 “So doth he also before giving make them say their prayers first, or the creed and ten commandments, and as he finds them perfect rewards them the more. For other givings are lay and secular, but this is to give like a priest."-Herbert's Country Parson, c. xii. ad fin. “They also take upon

some would gain twopence, some threepence, some fourpence),—but when all were heard what they had newly learned the week before, the rest of the time was spent in hearing of them also to say what they had formerly learned; which was the chief end of his design, that they should learn all, and keep perfectly all they had learned: and many of the children did strive who should learn most weekly, to gain most money, and keep those they had learned most perfectly.

30. It growing now half an hour past ten, the minister of the next parish' having read divine service at his own church, then came down with his

them to be catechisers and to task many poor people with catechistical questions ; which when they come and can make answer thereunto, they are rewarded with money and their dinners, and so they pretend they feed the poor's bodies and souls. But their catechism or catechistical questions (some say) are strange ones and far different from our orthodox catechisms.”— Arminian Nunnery in Hearne's Langtoft, cxxxvii. See Lenton in Peckard, 303, 304. Compare Bull's practice (Nelson, sect. 65).

i Steeple Gidding. See Lenton in Peckard, 290. The puritan libeller says : “This priest-like pregnant prolocutor answered but slubbringly, That sometimes a neighbour parson would come and preach in their chapel ; and to the other, That their calling (forsooth) was to serve God, which he took to be best. On the stupid and blind devotion of these people, for men and women, in health of able and active bodies and parts, to have no particular callings, and betake themselves to I wot not what new form of fasting and prayer, and a contemplative idle life, a lip-labour devotion, and a willworship!”-Hearne's Langtoft, cxxx.

parishioners to Little Gidding, where he preached on Sunday mornings. The bell then rung again to go to church. So the whole family, with the psalmchildren, met him. Being all in, Nicholas Ferrar went up into the chancel, and at the communiontable with an audible voice there read the second service. Which done, a psalm sung, the minister went up into the pulpit and preached.

31. That done each returned home; and in the same order they went, came back to the house, where they found long narrow trestles, as, to be removed from place and room, as the season of the year was: and the children all standing ready, old Mrs. Ferrar with her daughters and others came in, servants brought in the baked pudding and other meat, the old gentlewoman setting the first dish upon the table, Grace said', the children orderly and with silence stand to the table, for sit they did not. This done, some were left to see all dispatched in good order (their moneys, that they had earned, given before, at that time when each had said their psalms). Then the bell was rung, and the old gentlewoman's dinner serving in, she and all the family standing in their great dining-room, a hymn was sung by them, the organs playing. Then grace said before any sat down, they went to dinner ;

1 Peckard says by the minister of the parish. Children often said grace. “At the board and in private it very well becometh children's innocency to pray, and their elders to say, Amen."-Hooker, E. P. v. 31, $ 2.

« ForrigeFortsett »