Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

even on the calmest Şeas. If those Persons who serve at the Altar should themselves be made a sacrifice, their Enemies could raise no Admiration in them, who know they do but follow that City of God Jerusalem, even Jerusalem that killed the Prophets and Stoned them that were sent unto her. If their Sacred Functions should he Irreverently invaded and the Ministry of Reconciliation Prophaned by a Promiscuous Intrusion, the Sin were great, though it were not new : Strånge fire is as old as Nadab and Abihu, and the oldest of the people have Jeroboam for their Patron. If they should Conspire to dis-robe the Spouse of Christ, to disinherit the Church, and say, Let us take to our selves the Houses of God in Possession, this is as Old as Edom, and Moab, and Gebal, and Amaleck. Dionysius has taught them how to jeer off Jupiter's Cloak and the Beard of Esculapius. Nay some of our Selves, like Statues of Victoria, seem ready to deliver them with our own Hands. If they should come closer yet (as the Devil drew pear to Job) and study to Rob them of their Learning too, it hath been done before. Alas, the Apostate Julian would be their Predeces. sor: Nay if they should attempt it by Arms, the Turks did as much long since in the Eastern, and the Goths and Vandals in the Western Church. But that they should take away our Prayers too, the

proper Weapons of our Church, this is beyond all Precedent. What, are we such Recusants that we must be thus disarmed? Or may it not be Lawfull to put up our Petitions, no not to God? What must we have an Arbitrary service too? Or is Common Prayer to be taken in the Hebrew Dialect for Prophane? Are they so highly offended with the Name of Priest, that they will take away our Morning and Evening Sacrifice? And not leave us so much as the Calves of our Lips? Our Persons I confess may be Obnoxious, and Gold and Silver vray be a Sin. But the Innocent Prayers, what have they deserved ? How have they offended Man, when so often Appeased God? Or at what Bar shall they be Condemned, which have been Dayly admitted to the Throne of Grace? Did the Authors give their Bodies to the Fire, that their books should be Burned? Or were such Reliques of Martyrs ever disallowed ? Did Reverend Cranmer therefore first Sacrifice bis Hand, because it had a part in the Liturgy? If nothing else methinks, Mr. Calvin's Approbation should keep it from an utter Abolition, or it must be a through Reformation indeed, that must Reform Geneva from Superstition. But former Liturgies have been Erroneous, and the Prayers of our Church may have some Spice perhaps of Malignity in them : The Bishops had a hand in it. What think you if the Conjuring in the Litany hath raised all these Storms in the Common-wealth? What say you if praying for all that Travel by Land or Water hath brought so much Ammunition from beyond the Seas? What if the Prayer to deliver the King from all his Enemies, were the cause of his Separation from his Great Council? Indeed if this be True, there is some Cause why our Liturgy should be expunged, but that any should wrest from us the Prayer of our Lord, works such a degree of Admiration, as it goes beyond Belief. What Simeon would suffer his Saviour to be pulled out of his Arms? What Gada. renes are these to strive to turn him out of their Coasts? Qui dedit vivere docuit et orare (saith St. Cyprian.) His prayer ought to be as

TC

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

dear as our Life. Wherefore did the Apostles ask but that we might Learn? Why were they so Ignorant, but that we might know? For one of his Disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to Pray, (Verse the 1st,) And he said unto them, when ye pray, say, Our Father. In which Words three things are Observable.

1. Indeterminatio temporis, Öræv i gorzuzeték. When ye Pray.

εύχεσθε, 2. Determinatio Orationis, sivets say.

Λέγετε 3. Individuatio determinationis, rárie ne more

Πάτες

'Huar, In the Mosaical Law the Duty of Prayer was not so Absolutely and Expressly commanded; there was no General Precept clearly obliging all the Children of Israel to a Petitionary Invocation ex. pressly Propounded in the Covenant, insomuch that the Excellent Industry of the Masters of the Jews, who have Marshalled out of the Law 613 distinct Commands have not found out one for Prayer, and Abulensis after all his Laborious Comments upon Moses, by which he puts as it were another Veil upon his Face, with a fond' Wariness, concludes that quasi nunquam invenitur. Indeed the Prophets who were somewhat on the brighter side of the Cloud commanded Men to call upon God, either étenutas, or with Limitation of Times or Causes, but a Constant and perpetual Duty of Prayer was not imposed by any known Divine Injunction 'till under the Gospel. For the Law once delivered, and understood only as the State of the People then required, did not evidently crave a special and perpetual aid from Heaven, for the performance of it

, neither was there then such a disproportion between the Promises and Precepts but that the Obedience to the one might work with seme Modesty and expectation of the other ; Besides if the most Fervent Prayers had then been added to the most exact Obedience they could have wrought no absolute certainty of the Legal Promises

, God having prepared a far greater than they generally Expected or he plainly Propounded. But the heighth of that True and Inherent Sanctity which we are called to under the Gospel evidently requires the perpetual Influence of Heaven, the Continual Assistance of the Spirit of God: And yet the Infinite Disproportion of our Duty with the Reward Revealed now challengeth the Supply of Petitions even upon supposal of the most Exact Obedience. Indeed the Jeurish Sacrifices were in a manner Ceremonial or Symbolical Prayers. As Orpheus, and Zoroaster used their Suffumigations; Hence the Greek äęce without change of a letter is made the Latin Ara. So Christ is our Altar as he is our Intercessor. Not that they Prayed not under the Law, or that they were not obliged upon occasion. I know Invocation hath a more antient origin, at least from Gen. 4. the days of Enos, and can scarce be imagined Younger 26. than Religion her self, being the most Proper and Natural Act thereof, as Schools observe, and therefore all the Heathen Sages exercised themselves therein as Porphyrius testifies of the Indian Brachmans, the Persian Magi, and the Greek Theologi, and the first Authors of the Massalian Heresy were Gentiles, as Epiphanius observes. So did the Jews in succeeding Ages, taught by frequent occa.

sions, and the Examples of the Prophets. In the Temple they joyned them with their Sacrifice, in their Synagogues with Reading of the Law, which are therefore called by Philo, tà natal IgorFóhsus apariurhese. And in their Proseucha's or Oratories, which sugheresa were as Chappels of Ease out of their Cities they used them alone. Besides their ordinary Devotions, it is not Improbable that the most Eminent of their Doctors as they Instructed their Disciples in the Knowledge of the Law, so they prescribed or directed their Prayers, for Solus Deus docere potuit, ut se rellet orari. And therefore from whom we Receive the Revelation of the Will of God, we cannot but desire to be Taught to Pray according to it. Thus St. John the Baptist taught his Disciples and the Disciples of our Lord (some of whom had belonged to John before) desired as much of his.

One of his Disciples said unto him, Lord teach us to Pray, as John also taught his Disciples, which Request as we cannot Imagine could be denied, so we cannot Conceive any more than Two ways to grant it, either by Forming a Prayer for them, or by delivering them Rules and Directions how to frame one. Now our Saviour takes the Former way, not laying down any Precepts, but delivering them a certain SetForm, a Prayer of it self, and a Pattern for others, which is the second Observable in the Text. Determinatio Orationis. He gives them not a Directory, but a Form; He tells them not how but what they are to say. And he said unto them, when ye Pray, Say, Our Father, &c.

Thus the Sacerdotal Benediction and Decimal Profession were delivered in an Express Form, and the Psalms of David, (of which St. Jerome hath observed Four to be Intituled Prayers,) were a Standing Part of the Jewish Liturgy; the 70 Disciples who were sent to Preach the Gospel; Luk. 10. were all to use one Short Benediction as it were before Sermon. St. Paul concludes almost all his Epistles with one Form of Prayer, yet I hope his Spirit was of no bad invention. Justin Martyr one of the eldest Sons of the Primitive Church mentions their Kovàs sizes, their Common-Prayers, and Tertullian hath left us the Heads of their Ordinary Prayers for the Heathen Emperors. Vitam Prolizam, imperium Securum, Domum Tulam, E.xercitus Fortes, Senatum F'idelem, Populum Probum, Orbem Quietum. Thus they Prayed for the Prosecutors of the Church, more than some of us will do for the Defender of the Faith.

Constantine the Great, whose Portraicture was stamped on his Coin in a Posture of Prayer, had his südtopous Evres composed with study and Premeditation, Ευχάς ευθεσμους συν τοις τον Βασίλειον οίκον πληρούς eww.da (saith Euseb.) he duly said his set and appointed Prayers with his Houshold. Some have thought the Emperor our Country Man. Certainly, there cannot be a more proper Description of our present Constantine. Nay besides, he Penn'd a Form of Prayer to be said by all his Armies. And it ended this, τον ημέτερον Βασιλέα Κωνσταντινον, παϊδάς τε αυτού Θεοφιλείς επί μήκιστον ημίν Βιου δώον και νικητής Φυλάττεσθαι ποτνιώμεθα. Give me leave not only to Translate μήκιστον it into our Language, but into our Affections and Devo. QuXÉTTICI. tions also. We beseech thee, O Lord, to preserve our King, and his Royal Issue amongst us both safe and victorious. Thus the first Christian Monarch was Zealous of the Set Prayers

[ocr errors]

26.

"Tis true ;

[ocr errors]

of the Church, and they that strike at one, will not spare the
other ; and yet such there be, who instead of Buyers and Sellers,
whip the very Prayers out of the Temple, turn them out of their
House with their new Divinity, sweeping out all good Christianity;
all Prayer must be new, and lest they should continue, must be
spent in the making, expire at the first Breath, and pass away (as
God once appeared) in a Sound, for fear of Idolatry. Otherwise
their Christian Liberty is Enthralled, and the Spirit of God is fet.
tered. What? Can the Issue of these things be Momentary, whose
Causes to be divided are continual, and Effects Eternal; are their
Words so truly ”ETELL Trigésitee, that they fly from their Lips never to
Return again? What is our Memory Prophane, that when we kneel
unto God we are bound to forget. Indeed Eros who is first
mentioned to call upon the name of God is interpreted by
Euseb. 'Er inviareoue, Forgetful. But if we should conclude it from
thence, our Argument would be worse than his Interpretation. What
are these but Distempers which break out in such suddain
fits? and Abortive Meditations which are conceived and Rom. 8,
born together? But they Object we know not what we
should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit it self maketh
Intercession for us.

1 Cor. 19.
so no Man can say that

3. Jesus is the Lord, i. e. make a Right Profession of the Faith, but by the Holy Ghost. What, shall we therefore have Extem. porary Creeds too, and stand up, and begin with I believe at a ven, ture? So should we quickly have two articles cut off ; The descent into Hell would be swallowed up immediately, and we should hear no more of the Catholick Church. tanã tự sveimatı

, (saith St. Paul,) I will Sing with the Spirit. Were it not excellent Musick to hear them Sing Psalms Extempore ; and those who yet do but Read to them in several Corners, at length Dictate by Inspiration ? But this Opinion is not altogether so gross, it hath been of late Refuted. It is lawful now to hear Divine Service, so it be not enjoyned. A Set Form may be digested, so it be not Commanded. This is a pure Spirit of Disobedience, the Set Form it self may be harmless, add but a little Obedience to it, and then it is Heinous. They have hitherto denied Man a Power to make any thing unlawful by Pro, hibiting, and do they grant him a Power, to make something Unlawful by Commanding? Heretofore they have told us that Human Laws can. not bind the Conscience, now they. Distinguish all in a different Character, to do what they Command they cannot, but Not to do they can. . Here is a new Legislative Power which permits by Forbidding and Forbids by Commanding, a strange Sword of Justice that cuts with the Back, and Heals with the Edge. They may as well say that if our Sovereign were a private Man, they might lay down their Arms, but being He is their King, they cannot in Conscience. By this we may see what strange Divinity we are like to have, if the Spiritual Lords shall be divested of their Jurisdiction, and the Tem. poral possess their Chairs, and so I pass to the third thing Observable.

Individuatio Determinationis. The particular Forms here prescribed, the Pater-Noster, when ye pray, say, Our Father, &c. Here some will scarce be persuaded it is a Prayer at all, but a Pattern only. A Pattern I confess it is, and so I understand St. Matthew's curas, and

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

OB

Tertullian's Oratio Legitima, in his Book de Fuga, but surely it is a and Prayer too.

Otherwise our Saviour Christ, should Command us when we pray not to pray.

For he said unto them when ye pray, say, Our Father.

So that this is a kind of Antichristian Doctrine formally opposing Christ. When ye pray (says he) say, Our

Father. But they say, when ye say our Father, ye do not pray. Well Orhero

this being Granted, their scrupulous Conscience checks them still, a
Prayer it is in it self they yield, but not to us. It is not lawful to use
it as a Prayer. What, not lawful ? Is there any Law against the
Legislator? It hath been Innocent near 1600 Years, and is it now
grown Offensive ? can the Pretence of the Spirit thrust out that, Quâ
nulla Spiritualior Oratio, as St. Cyprian thinks? Or can we imagine
that that which was made by the Son to be presented to the Father,
should be interrupted by the Holy Ghost? In the Primitive times, the
only Question was, whether it were lawful to use any other beside it,
now the Judges are changed, they are let free, and this alone is ques-
tioned. It was of late vehemently Objected against our Liturgy,
that it omitted the last though suspected clause, now it is accused for
admitting the Rest; before it was a Crime to want a piece, and now
Ptis a greater to have it all. Ay, but we never Read that the Apostles
used it. It is true we never Read that they Baptized any in the
Name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost ; this is the Socinian's
Argument for neglect of Baptism. Nay in this our Schismaticks are
more Inconsequential than they. They using the Negative Argu-
ment only to exclude all Necessity, these to enforce an Unlawfulness.
Now there is a large Difference between Unlawful and Unnecessary.
Besides, though we Read it not in Scriptures, yet this we know
that the Primitive Church used the Lord's-Prayer perpetually at the
Eucharist, and this Tradition was so constant that St. Jerom doubts
not to affirm that Christ so taught his Disciples. Sic docuit Apostolos
Suos ut quotidie in Corporis illius Sacrificio audeant loqui Pater Noster,
saith he in the third Advers. Pelag. For the further Illustration give
me leave to acquaint you with a piece of Antiquity in the Infancy of
the Church. When any were converted to Christianity, they first
made a Profession of their Faith, and a promise to live according to
it
, then they fasted and prayed for Remission of their former Sins,
which done they were Baptized, and immediately after being brought
to the Congregation, received the Eucharist, as appears out of Justin
Martyr's Apology, upon which St. Jerom, de Baptismatis Fonte, Sur.
gentes statim in primâ Corporis Communione Christi dicunt Dimitte
nobis debita nostra. His meaning is, as soon as they were Baptized
they Received the Communion, and saying the Lord's Prayer accord.
ing to Custom, asked God forgiveness of their Sins, though they were
forgiven in Baptism, and therefore 'tis a Ridiculous Custom in the
Romish Mass, that the Deacon should say, Libera nos à Malo, and not
the Priest, lest he might be suspected to be Guilty of some Mortal
Sin. If then a perpetual and Universal Tradition of the Catholick
Church bath any Authority in respect of us; if a clear and express
precept of Christ, makes the thing Commanded beyond Dispute, low
can that be unlawful, than which nothing at first was more clearly
Delivered ; nothing since more universally received of us, but if they

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

bed

[ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »