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The Author has been reminded of the opinion of Dr. Arnold, that a creed is not always to be regarded as a test, but as a triumphant song of praise, rejoicing in the acknowledgment of the truth. In this light he has, in addition to the declaration of the Author of Eternal Life and his inspired Apostles, introduced a confession of faith, formed chiefly from the so-called Apostles' and Nicene Creeds; leaving the use of it discretionary.

He has added two Tables: one containing a series of Lessons from the Old Testament*; the other, of the Psalms (with the portions which ought to be omitted in public worship), arranged for Morning and Evening Service for the year.

Those passages in the Burial Service, which have distressed the minds of thousands; and which must have a demoralizing effect upon the minds of many people before whom they are read, are now omitted or altered.

The Communion Service has been so arranged as to adapt the former part to the solemn duty which follows it in the administration of the ordinance of the Lord's Supper.

The Collect for the last Sunday of the Ministry, added to that in the Book of Common Prayer, is taken from a prayer by Jeremy Taylor, in his work, entitled “ Holy Living and Dying.” For all other alterations and additions the Author is responsible.

* The order of their use is not intended to be fixed by the figures. The list may be useful to guide to chapters which may be profitably read. This provision extends over the period of two years' service.



of some.

made by man; nor could any one be framed, which would satisfy the tastes of all, or not offend the scruples

But every human being, feeling the necessity of such a service, must earnestly desire to have one, which shall help him to unburden the sorrows of his soul, and to cherish his holy joys; which shall encourage his trust in infinite goodness, assist his penitence in the consciousness of guilt and unworthiness, and fill him with love and gratitude towards God and his Christ, for all the blessings of nature, of providence, and of grace.

In the elements and structure of the liturgical service of the Church of England, there is a happy adaptation to carry forward all these high and spiritual objects. The esteem and reverence in which it has been almost universally held, not merely by persons whose professional duty it is to be familiar with it, but by all the thoughtful and serious amongst the laity, young and old, rich and poor, learned and ignorant, is a decisive proof of its intrinsic excellence. Making every allowance for the effect of early impressions and associations, it would not have had this hold on the affections, if its internal merit had not endeared it to those who habitually used it.

But it is the work of man: and like all his works will become less fit for use, unsuited to the advancing state of religious knowledge, if it be not from time to time repaired, and adapted to an age which has outgrown respect for the authority of the scholastic and dogmatic theology,—the prevailing, and indeed the almost universal expression of Christian faith, at the period in which this Liturgy was compiled, or in which its separate parts were constructed.

The principles of Divine Truth are unalterable. Once revealed, they will abide for ever. But the style, the language, the interpretations in which men express them, will be perpetually changing. In whatever form they

exhibit their views of the doctrines of the gospel, even if those views are incorrect, so long as the faith of the people reposes upon the representation, comparatively slight harm will be done to the religious character, by doctrinal errors; for none can eclipse the unbounded love of God in the gift of his beloved Son to redeem and save a lost and sinful world. But a form of devotion, encumbered with phrases and doctrines, which the mind enlightened with a knowledge of Divine Truth cannot conscientiously approve, cannot be one, which perfect sincerity and fervent, but intelligent piety can profitably use and enjoy.

The conviction of the necessity of change-of the removal of things contrary to Christian truth, or even objectionable in less important respects, was felt when our Liturgy was first constructed. The first Book of Common Prayer was issued in the reign of Edward the Sixth, in the year 1549. It was followed by revisions in 1552, in 1559, in 1604, in 1637, and in 1662, in the reign of Charles the Second. Since that time to the present, nearly two hundred years, not the slightest alteration or improvement has been admitted.

Is this because, in its present and past state, it has given general satisfaction ? In the year 1689, an attempt was made to effect such alterations as would conciliate all Protestants. It was confirmed by the Upper, but rejected by the Lower House of Convocation. Clergymen of high dignity, of unquestionable learning and piety, have successively expressed their earnest wish for reform. And it has been the most anxious desire of a large portion of the pious and intelligent body of the Laity that this should be undertaken. But as there is no reasonable hope that a revision, long imperatively called for, will come from the quarter, whence, but for the long silence amidst complaints and wishes so freely and widely expressed, it might be expected to proceed, the following attempt to render this Book of Common Prayer suitable for general use, issues from a more humble quarter, where there is nothing to be dreaded, from a sincere effort to do justice to the cause of truth and righteousness.

Certainly the letter of Scripture is nothing without the spirit ; but that which can reasonably lay claim to universal adoption, must adhere to the letter, or it becomes,

in the creation of new terms to express what is supposed to be its doctrines, a matter of private interpretation; about which disputes must arise, and destroy the spirit of Christian love; and by which schism must be caused,—the unscrupulous being retained and the conscientious forced to separate themselves. If the language be that of Christ and his Apostles, all may amicably use it, and each in the exercise of his own understanding, will for himself interpret it. And thus diversity of opinion, which will always prevail, may be consistent with Christian charity and sincerity and unity in using the same devotional forms.

The revision of the Book of Common Prayer, here presented to the public, is then an attempt to ascertain whether the service may not be rendered suitable for general adoption amongst all classes of Protestant Christians. And the only process which can adapt it for universal use has been followed : i. e., all scholastic expressions, which find no countenance verbally in the books of Sacred Writ, are removed; while the language of Scripture, its figures of speech, its peculiar forms of expression to convey to the human mind “ the truth of God” have been carefully preserved and, when required, introduced. If, as it has been honestly attempted, this process has been fairly carried out, there can be no sacrifice of any vital doctrines of Christianity; for all these are plainly stated and taught, according to the universal opinion of those who maintain the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures as the guide to eternal life. In the use of a Liturgy thus constructed, is it not practicable that all can amicably join, while the common bond of a truly scriptural form preserves the Unity of the Spirit, and gives the latitude of free and diverse interpretation without the permission of which the right of private judgement,—the Protestant privilege and duty-cannot exist? It may be reasonably hoped, that many Church-people, uneasy at the reading of certain portions of the service, may, with this book, join in the general worship, with pleasure and profit, finding none but expressions which they can approve; while some of those in the common form grate discordantly upon their sincerity in their devotions. And without laying claim to anything like perfection, this revision would not have been put forth, had it not appeared that in some portions, at least, it might be usefully suggestive, when the time shall come, in which to remove obstructions to the universal prevalence of the Spirit of Christ, will appear to be far more important than any vain attempt to attain uniformity in doctrinal opinions.

It remains now only that the principles and rules on which the present revision has been formed should be clearly stated. Without a knowledge of these, the present attempt cannot be fully understood or fairly appreciated.

1. It is extremely important and desirable to keep up the series of historical references in the arrangement of the Collects, and of course in the tone of the separate services. This is not altered or disturbed. It matters not that these references are slight, except in the Lessons: that they are not chronologically arranged: that the dates of particular events are more than doubtful : that they have their shape from the superstitious observances of the Church in mediæval times :—what is done in this beautiful, it may

be called poetical and pictorial arrangement, makes the leading facts of Christian history: the current in which the pious thoughts and devotions of the worshippers shall run during the yearly service. They thus go over the whole of the sacred ground; and do not contine their thoughts and feelings, as some sectarians do, to the crucifixion, or to the resurrection, -to this doctrine or to that; on which they ring no harmonious and varied changes, but one monotonous succession of sounds, wearying to the ear, and unprofitable to the heart.

There was a day—a glad day, when Jesus was born: -a day when the shepherds, guided by an angel, visited and worshipped him: a day when his parents presented him in the temple. There was a time when he retired into the wilderness, when he fasted forty days and forty nights. There was a day when he entered on his ministry: one when he was seized and condemned and crucified: a day when he arose from the tomb: one when he ascended into heaven: and one when the Holy Spirit, like distributed tongues of fire, descended upon the Apostles. Is it Popery, is it superstition, to remember these days with devout feelings and with becoming reflections ? What then remains for Christianity ? Can gratitude for redemption consist with no devotional contemplation and commemo

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