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Governor." (2) The Vestments of 1549 were provisionally restored. (3) The “black-letter Saints' Days" were added to the Calendar (in 1561). (4) The petition against the Pope was struck out of the Litany. (5) The “ Declaration on Kneeling” was removed. (6) The Words of Administration in the Communion Service were altered to their present form, including the forms both of 1549 and of 1552.
So revised, the Prayer Book was almost universally accepted; and it is all but certain that Pope Pius iv. offered to sanction it, if only his Supremacy could be recognised in England. It was the first Prayer Book which was used without change for any long period, and approached closely to our present book.
(C) During this reign grew up the great Puritan partyPuritan in ritual and discipline, Presbyterian in views of Church government, and Calvinistic in doctrine. After some vacillations in policy, their resistance to the order and ritual established was held down with a strong hand during her reign. On the accession of James 1., educated as he was in a Presbyterian school, the Millenary Petition for revision was presented by the representatives of this party; the Hampton Court Conference was held under the King's presidency; and the Prayer Book once more revised in 1604.
The changes, however, were small; chiefly the addition of some prayers and Occasional Thanksgivings, the restriction of Private Baptism to a “lawful minister," and the addition to the Catechism of the Exposition of the Sacraments. The demand for the adoption of the celebrated “ Lambeth Articles” (embodying distinctive Calvinistic doctrine) was rejected. The only important result of the Conference was the formation of the “Authorized Version" of the Bible in 1611.
On this followed speedily the dominance of the High-Church party, under James 1. and Charles 1.; and subsequently the revolutionary reaction in the Long Parliament against the whole Church system; which, after the outbreak of the Civil War and the alliance of the Parliament with the Scotch Presbyterians, culminated in the abolition of the Prayer Book, and the substitution of the Directory of Public Worship in 1645, and in various Acts prohibiting the use of the Prayer Book, even in private, under severe penalties.
(D) Finally, at the Restoration in 1660, the King, in pursuance of the promise given before his return, granted to the Puritan party the Savoy Conference, to be followed by a revision of the restored Prayer Book. This revision was professedly designed for comprehension. But it was soon clear that this was nearly hopeless. On the one hand, the Presbyterians, headed by Richard Baxter, pressed for changes, which would have revolutionized the Prayer Book in many points of principle; on the other side, there was not only no desire for concession, but a disposition to change in the opposite direction. The last opportunity, therefore, of comprehension was lost, and the imposition of the revised Prayer Book of 1662 by the Act of Uniformity led to the permanent establishment of Nonconformity in England. The revision, however, was carried out with great care by a Committee of Convocation, submitted to Convocation, and sanctioned by Parliament.
INTRODUCTION. IV. PRAYER BOOK OF 1662.-Of the numerous alterations the most important were-(1) the prefixing of the new “Preface;" (2) the insertion (in wilful opposition to the Puritans) of certain Apocryphal Lessons. (Bel and the Dragon and the History of Susanna) in the Calendar; (3) the addition of several Prayers, e.g., the Prayer for all Conditions of Men, and the General Thanksgiving; (4) the taking of the Epistles and Gospels and most other Scriptural Lections from the Authorized Version ; (5) the addition to the Church Militant Prayer of the commemoration of the faithful departed, and the insertion of various Ritual Rubrics in the Communion Service; (6) the restoration of the “Declaration on Kneeling," with the significant change of “real and essential Presence” into “corporal Presence;" (7) the addition of the Office for Baptism of Adults, of the Forms of Prayer to be Used at Sea, and of the Services for January 30th and May 29th; (8) the explicit enforcement of Episcopal Ordination, and some changes corresponding to this in the phrases relating to the clergy ; (9) the addition to the Baptismal Service of the Declaration on the Salvation of Baptized Infants, and on the use of the Sign of the Cross.
On the history and nature of this Revision see “the Preface.”
It will be obvious that hardly any of these indicate concession to the Puritans, that some were simply dictated by a desire for greater completeness and order, and that others tended rather to oppose and alienate those who had asked for the Revision.
V. SUBSEQUENT ALTERATIONS.--The Prayer Book has never again been revised, although Revision was attempted in 1689, and has been often proposed.
The only changes which have since taken place are,(1) The disuse (in 1859) of the State Services for November 5th, January 30th, and May 29th.
(2) The introduction of the New Lectionary in 1871.
(3) The introduction, by the Amendment of the Act of Uniformity in 1872, of the Shortened Service, of liberty of using other Services by sanction of the Ordinary, of license for separation of Services and use of Hymns.
Thus preserving throughout the main characteristics, both of substance and style, which marked it at its first Compilation in 1519, the Prayer Book has exercised a most powerful influence, not only as determining the tone and character of English devotion, not only as forming a standard of faith and of religious thought, but also as affecting the whole development of English literature, of which, after the English Bible, it was the first great monument. Nor has its effect been confined to the English Church itself, the sister communions in Ireland and Scotland, and the daughter Churches of America and the Colonies. There can be little doubt that it has told on Christian bodies separated from the Church, wherever the English language is spoken, and even beyond this limit, wherever its numerous translations have penetrated. For the two great trophies of the Reformation, the English Bible and the English Prayer Book, we may well thank God.,
CONTENTS OF THIS BOOK.
This Preface, first prefixed to the Revised Prayer Book of 1661, was written by Bishop Sanderson, and amended in some trifling points by a Committee of the Upper House of Convocation. Its main purpose is to explain the causes and effects of the Revision just completed.
Glancing first at the history of the past, since 1549, it alludes to the three Revisions already made (the first under Edward vi. in 1552, the second under Elizabeth in 1559, and the third under James 1.
), and asserts that through all these "the main body and essentials” of the original Book of 1549“ have still continued the same.” The phrase ascribing to the Church of England “the middle way between two extremes” has become celebrated, being supposed to be a description of her general principle and policy. A
at the context will, however, show that it refers simply to the policy adopted in the revisions of the Prayer Book.
Next the Preface refers to the prohibition of the use of the Liturgy under the Commonwealth. This was by an order of Parliament on January 3rd, 1645, “abolishing the Book of Common Prayer," and “establishing” for use in all Churches “the Directory for the Public Worship of God,” followed, on August 23rd, by another Order, enjoining the surrender of all Prayer Books, and making the use of the Liturgy, even in private, punishable by fine and imprisonment. It then recites the demands made, on the Restoration of Charles II., for Revision, enforced by the publication of objections, some old and some new, against the Prayer Book (which, never having been legally abolished, came at once back into use), and the consent of the King thereto. The Presbyterians, in fact, had presented a petition to the King, allowing the lawful. ness of a Liturgy, but asking that the Prayer Book might be revised, and that some ceremonies might be abolished and the use of others made optional. Charles answered by a “Royal Declaration on Ecclesiastical Affairs," in October 1660, allowing toleration of diversity for a time, and promising a Conference, which met at the Savoy on March 25th, 1661.
Of the demands for alteration then made, which were very numerous, both general and special, it is declared that those representing the two extremes-of change of fundamental principles on the one hand, and of mere frivolous objection on the other
have been rejected, and those which seemed “requisite and expedient” willingly accepted, without, however, any allowance of the objections made to the old Book, as unscriptural, unsound, or against the conscience of “a godly man." The objects of the Revision are expressly declared to be, not the satisfaction of the demands of this or that party, but“the preservation of peace and unity ; " "the procuring of reverence and exciting of piety and devotion;" and "tho
TT hath been the wisdom of the Church of England, ever since the first com 1 piling of her publick Liturgy, to keep the mean between the two extremos, of too much stiftness in refusing, and of too much easiness in admitting any variation from it For, as on the one side common experience sheweth, that where a change hath been made of things advisedly established (no evident necessity 80 requiring) sundry inconveniences have thereupon ensued : and those many times more and greater than the evils, that were intended to be remedied by such change : So on the other side, the particular forms of Divino worship, and the Rites and Ceremonies appointed to be used therein, being things in their own nature indiferent, and alterable, and so acknowledged ; it is but reasonable, that upon weighty and important considerations, aceording to the various exigency of times and occasions, such changes and alterations should be made therein, as to those that are in place of Authority should from time to time seem either necessary or expedient. Accordingly we find, that in the reigns of several Princes of blessed memory since the Reformidtion, the Church, upon just and weighty considerations her thereunto moving, hath yielded to make such alterations in some particulars, as in their respective times were thought convenient : yet so, as that the main body and essentials of it (as well in the chiefest materials, as in the frame and order thereof) have still continued the same unto this day, and do yet stand firm and unshaken, notwithstanding all the vain attempts and impetuous assaults made against it, by suce men as are given to change, and have always discovered a greater regard to their own private fancies and interests, than to that duty they owe to the publick.
By what undue means, and for what mischievous purposes the use of the Liturgy (though enjoined by the laws of the land, and those laws never yet repealed) came, during the late unhappy confusions, to be discontinued, is too well known to the world, and we are not willing here to remember. But when, upon His Majesty's happy Restoration, it seemed probable, that, amongst other things, the use of the Liturgy would also return of course (the same having never been legally abolisher) unless some timely means were used to prevent it ; those men who under the late usurped powers had made it a great part of their business to render the people disaff cted thereunto, saw them. selves in point of reputation and interest concerned (unless they would freely
acknowledge themselves to have erred, which such men are very hardly brought I to do) with their utmost endeavours to hinder the restitution thereof. In
order whereunto divers pamphlets were published against the Book of Common Prayer, the old objections mustered up, with the addition of some new ones, more than formerly had been made, to make the number swell. In fine, great importunities were used to His Sacred Majesty, that the said Book might be revised, and such alterations therein, and additions thereunto made, as should be thought requisite for the ease of tender consciences : whereunto His Majesty, out of his pious inclination to give satisfaction (so far as could be reasonably expected) to all his subjects of what persuasion soever did graciously condescend.
In which review we have endeavoured to observe the like moderation, as we find to have been used in the like case in former times. And therefore of the sundry alterations proposed unto us, we have rejected all such as were either of dangerous consequence (as secretly striking at some established doctrine, or laudable practice of the Church of England, or indeed of the whole Catholick Church of Christ) or else of no consequence at all, but utterly frivolous and vain. But such alterations as were tendered to us, (by what persons, under what pretences, or to what purpose soever tendered) as seemed to us in any degree requisite or expedient, we have willingly, and of our own accord assented unto : not enforced so to do by any strength of argument, convincing us of the necessity of making the said alterations : for wo are fully persuaded in our judgments (and we here profess it to the world) that the Book, as it stood before established by law, doth not contain in it any thing contrary to the Word of God, or to sound doctrine, or which a
godly man may not with a good conscience use and submit unto, or which I is not fairly defensible against any that shall oppose the same ; if it shall I be allowed such just and favourable construction as in common equity