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plice and purple stole, attended by his clerks. He begins by questioning the godfathers, whether they promise, in the child's name, to live and die in the true catholic and apostolic faith, and what name they would give the child. Then follows an exhortation to the sponsors; after which the priest, calling the child by its name, asks it as follows: What dost thou demand of the church? The godfather answers, Eternal life. The priest goes on: If you are desirous of obtaining eternul life, keep God's commandments; Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, &c. After which he breathes three times in the child's face, saying, Come out of this child, thou evil spirit, and make room for the Holy Ghost. This said, he makes the sign of the cross on the child's forehead and breast, saying, Receive the sign of the cross on thy forehead and in thy heart. Then taking off his cap, he repeats a short prayer, and laying his hand gently on the child's head, repeats a second prayer: which ended, he blesses some salt; and putting a little of it into the child's mouth, pronounces these words, Receive the salt of wisdom. All this is performed at the church-door. The priest, with the godfathers and godmothers, coming into the church, and advancing towards the font, repeat the Apostles' creed and the Lord's prayer. Being come to the font, be exorcises the evil spirit again; and taking a little of his own spittle, with the thumb of his right hand, rubs it on the child's ears and nostrils, repeating, as he touches the right ear, the same word (Ephatha, be thou opened which our Saviour made use of to the man born deaf and dumb. Lastly, they pull off its swaddling clothes, or strip it below the shoulders, during which the priest prepares the oils, &c. The sponsors then hold the child directly over the font, observing to turn it due east and west; whereupon the priest asks the child, Whether he renounces the devil and all his works? and the godfather having auswered in the affirmative, the priest anoints the child between the shoulders in the form of a cross. Then taking some of the consecrated water, he pours part of it thrice on the child's head, at each perfusion calling on one of the Persons of the Holy Trinity. The priest concludes the ceremony with an exhortation.
Such was the form of this ordinance (if such it may be called)
at the dawn of the reformation; but our great reformers conceived this too great a violation of common sense, to transcribe it verbatim into their book of Common Prayer; consequently what appeared them as the most obnoxious was pruned off; such as the oil, the salt, and the spittle; but the stock was not changed, the superfluous branches only were lopped off: as may be seen by taking an extract or two from Bishop Burnett's history of those times.
The first step taken to reform the Church was in 1536, when five Articles of Religion were drawn up, and sent to the Convocation then sitting in the House of Lords; and although many of the Bishops were strongly opposed to any alteration in their creed, yet in order to gain favour with the king, who had approved of them, they were passed, verbatim, and are as follow:
1. That the Bishops and Preachers ought to instruct the people according to the Scripture, the three Creeds, and the four first
2. That Baptism was necessary to salvation, and that children ought to be baptized for the pardon of original sin, and obtaining the Holy Ghost.
3. That penance was necessary to salvation, and that it consisted in confession, contrition, and amendment of life, with the external works of charity, to which a lively faith ought to be joined; and that confession to a priest was necessary, where it might be had. 4. That in the Eucharist, under the forms of bread and wine, very flesh and blood of Christ was received.
5. That justification was the remission of sins, and a perfect renovation in Christ, and that not only outward good works, but inward holiness, was absolutely necessary. As to the outward cere
monies, the people were to be taught that
was meet to have images
in churches, but they ought to avoid all such superstition as had been usual in time past, and not to worship the image, but only 2. That they were to honour the saints, but not to expect those things from them which God only gives. 3. That they might pray to them for their intercession; but all superstitious abuses were to cease; and if the king should lessen the number of saints' days, they ought to obey him. 4. That the use of the ceremonies was
good, and that they contained many mystical significations that tended to raise the mind towards God; such were vestments in divine worship, holy water, holy bread, the carrying of candles, and palms, and ashes, and creeping to the cross, and the hallowing the font, and other exorcisms. 5. That it was good to pray for departed souls, and to have masses and exequies said for them; but the scriptures having neither declared in what place they were, nor what torments they suffered, that was uncertain, and to be left to God therefore all the abuses of the Pope's pardons, or saying masses in such or such places, or before such images, were to be put away.
These Articles were signed by Cromwell, the two Archbishops, sixteen Bishops, forty Abbots and Priors, and fifty of the Lower House.
In 1548, a more general reformation of the Liturgy was under consideration, that all the nation might have an uniformity in the worship of God, and be no more cantoned to the several uses of Sarum, York, Lincoln, Hereford, and Bangor. Anciently the Liturgies were short, and had few ceremonies in them: every Bishop had one for his own diocese.
"The morning and evening prayers were put almost in the same method in which we use them still, only there was no confession, nor absolution. In the office for the communion there was a commemoration of thanksgiving for the blessed Virgin, and all departed saints, and they were commended to God's mercy and peace. In the consecration, the use of crossing the elements was retained; but there was no elevation; which was at first used as an historical rite, to show Christ's being lifted up on the cross; but was afterwards done, to call on the people to adore it. No stamp was to be on the bread, and it was to be thicker than ordinary. It was to be put in the people's mouths by the priests, though it had been anciently put in their hands. Some began to take it in spoons of gold, others in a linen cloth, called their Dominical: but after the corporal presence was received, the people were not suffered to touch it, and the priest's thumbs and fingers were peculiarly anointed, to qualify them for that contact. In baptism, the child's head and breast was crossed,
and an adjuration was made of the devil, to depart from him: children were to be thrice dipped, or, in case of weakness, water was to be sprinkled on their faces, and then they were to be anointed, The sick might also be anointed, if they desired it. At funerals, the departed soul was recommended to God's mercy."
“The sacraments were formerly believed of such virtue, that they conferred grace by the very receiving them, ex opere operato: amd so women baptized. The ancients did send portions of the eucharist to the sick, but without any pomp; which came in when the corporal presence was believed. But instead of that, it was now appointed, that the sacrament should be ministered to the sick, and therefore, in case of weakness, children might be baptized in houses; though it was more suitable to the design of baptism, which was the admission of a new member to the church, to do it before the whole congregation. But this, which was a provision for weakness, is become since a mark of vanity, and a piece of affected state. It was also appointed, that the sacrament should be given to the sick, and not to be sent from the church, but consecrated by their bedsides; since Christ had said, that where two or three were assem bled in his name, he would be in the midst of them. But it is too gross a relic of the worst part of popery, if any imagine, that, after an ill life, some sudden sorrow for sin, with a hasty absolution and the sacrament, will be a passport to heaven; since the mercies of God in Christ are offered in the gospel only to those who truly he lieve, sincerely repent, and do change the course of their lives."
The Liturgy thus compiled, was published, with a preface concerning ceremonies, the same that is still in the Common Prayer
"There was now a
This Liturgy was again reviewed in 1550. design set on foot for a review of the Common Prayer Book: in order to which, Bucer's opinion was asked. He approved the main parts of the former book; he wished there might be not only a de nunciation against scandalous persons that came to the sacrament, but a discipline to exclude them: that the habits might be laid aside; that no part of the Communion Office might be used, except when there was a sacrament; that Communions might be more fre
quent; that the prayers might be said in a plain voice; that the sacrament might be put in the people's bands; and that there might be no prayers for the dead which had not been used in Justin Martyr's time. He advised a change of some phrases in the Office of the Communion, that favoured transubstantiation too much; and that baptism might be only in churches. He thought the hallowing the water, the chrism, and the white garments, were too scenical; nor did he approve of adjuring the devil, nor of the godfathers answering in the child's name. He thought confirmation should be deJayed till the person was of age, and came sincerely to renew the baptismal covenant. He advised catechising every holiday, both of children and the adult; he disliked private marriages, extreme unction, and offering chrisms at the churching of women; and he thought there ought to be greater strictness used in the examining of those who came to receive orders."
1551. "By this time the greater number of the Bishops were men that heartily received the Reformation; so it was resolved now to proceed to a settlement of the doctrine of the Church. Many thought that should have been done in the first place: but Cranmer judged it was better to proceed slowly in that matter: he thought the corruptions in the worship were to be begun with, since while they remained, the addresses to God were so defiled, that thereby all people were involved in unlawful compliances. He thought speculative opinions might come last, since errors in them were not of such ill consequence: and he judged it necessary to lay these open, in many treatises and disputes, before they should proceed to make alterations, that so all people might be beforehand satisfied with what should be done. So now they framed a body of articles, which contained the doctrine of the church of England: they were cast into forty-two articles, and afterwards some few alterations being made in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign, they were reduced to thirty-nine; which being in all people's hands, need not be much enlarged on."*
From the preceding extracts it will be seen that our great reformers copied this ordinance nearly verbatim from the Church of
• Bishop Burnett's History of the Reformation.