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Divines was appointed, to compose an uniform order of Communion, according to the rules of Scripture, and the use of the Primitive Church. The Committee retired to Windsor Castle, and, within a few days, drew up that form which is printed in Bishop Sparrow's Collection; and which, in the following year, was brought into use. The same Committee was, by a new commission, invested with power to draw up public offices of religion, not only for Sundays and holidays; but also for baptism, confirmation, matrimony, the burial of the dead, and other special occasions. The office for the Communion was added, with several alterations and amendments. By them the whole Liturgy was completed. At the head of the Committee who composed the Liturgy, was Archbishop Cranmer, to whose piety, learning, and zea!, the Church of England, and indeed every Protestant Church, owes much. His conduct, in the high office which he filled, was a combination of prudence with the fervour of devotion, in harmony with discriminating wisdom; and of integrity, in unison with conciliating manners. If, in one scene of his life, he, like Peter, exhibited a deplorable instance of human weakness, like Peter he also showed in the last and most awful scene of it, a noble example of triumph over every object of human fear, over death clad with all his supernumerary terrors. Though the trial of his faith was even literally taken with fire, it was found unto praise, honour, and glory. During the life of that capricious tyrant, Henry the Eighth, he had to walk with caution, for he walked over fires treacherously covered with deceitful ashes, and like the Apostle St. Paul, was in death often. In the reign of Edward, he stood forth the champion, the apologist, the guardian, and the active conductor of the Reformation ; and these excellencies
marked him out in the reign of Mary, as one of the first victims destined to bleed at the altar of Superstition. Ridley, at that time Bishop of Rochester, and afterwards of London, was also a member of the Committee by which the Liturgy was framed, a man of fine parts, distinguished equally by his piety, by his literature, and by his penetration and solidity of judgment; and who also, in Mary's reign, was condemned to the flames, and like another Elijah ascended to heaven in a fiery chariot. Five other Bishops, and six other eminent Divines, constituted the Committee by whom the Liturgy of the Church of England was compiled. 6. Thus," says an excellent writer, “was our excellent Liturgy compiled by martyrs, and confessors, together with divers other learned Bishops and Divines, and being revised and approved by the Archbishops, Bishops, and Clergy of both the provinces of Canterbury and York, was then confirmed by the King, and the three Estates in Parliament, A.D. 1548, who gave it this just encomium, viz. which at this time, by the aid of the Holy Ghost, with uniform agreement is of them concluded, set forth, foc.”*
Several objections having been made to the Liturgy, as too indulgent to superstition, Archbishop Cranmer, in the year 1551, proposed to have it reviewed, and, for that purpose called in the assistance of Martin Bucer, and Peter Martyr, two foreigners, whom he invited over to England. Some alterations were made in the service, and some additions were also made to it. Of the latter kind are the sentences, exhortation, confession, and absolution, at the beginning of the Morning and Evening Ser
Mr. Wheatly's Appendix to the Introductory Discourse, &c. .
vices, which in the first Prayer Book began with the Lord's Prayer. The alterations consisted principally in retrenching several ceremonies, such as the use of oil in Baptism, the anointing of the sick, and prayers for the dead, which had been used both in the Communion Office, and in that for the Burial of the dead. The convocation of the Holy Ghost, in the consecration of the Eucharist, and the prayer of oblation which followed it, were laid aside. The Habits for the ministers of religion, which had been enjoined by the former Rubrick, were by this order to be discontinued, and at the end of the Communion service a Rubrick was added, to explain the reason of kneeling at the sacrament. With these additions and alterations, the Liturgy was again confirmed by Parliament. In the first year of Mary, both this and the for. mer act made in 1548, were repealed, as a preparatory step to the restoration of the mass, and all the superstitions of Popery.
The accession of Elizabeth was soon followed by an act to reverse the repeal of the first year of Queen Mary, and another review was appointed to be taken of King Edward's Liturgies. For this service ten eminent Divines were selected, at the head of whom was Dr. Parker, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. Mr. Grindall, after. wards Bishop of London, and finally promoted to the see of Canterbury, formed one of the number. These Di. vines proposed the second book of King Edward, which was established by the three branches of the Legislature, with very few alterations. The last deprecation in the Litany in both the books of Edward, “ From the tyranny of the Bishop of Rome and all his detestable enormities, &c.” was left out. To the first petition for the Queen these words were added_strengthen in the true wor
ship of thee, in righteousness, and holiness of life.” In the form of address to communicants in the dispensation of the sacrament, two sentences were added.
“ The body of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for thee," and “ the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which was shed for thee; preserve thy body and soul to everlasting life.” These were taken out of King Edward's first book. In his second book, these sentences had been left out, and
take, eat and drink this,” put in their place; but now, in that of Queen Elizabeth, both these forms were united.
- The Habits enjoined by the first book of Edward, and prohibited by the second, were restored. At the end of the Litany, a prayer was added for the Queen, and another for the Clergy. The Rubrick that was added to the end of the Communion Office, in the second book of King Edward, was left out of Queen Elizabeth's Liturgy.
In this state the Liturgy continued, till the first year of James the First. After the conference at HampdonCourt, between that Prince, with Archbishop Whitgift, and other Bishops and Divines on the one side, and Dr. Reynolds, with some other Puritans on the other, some forms of Thanksgiving were added at the end of the Litany, and an addition was made to the Catechism, on the subject of the Sacraments. The Catechism before that time ended with the answer to the question, which immediately follows the Lord's Prayer. In the Rubrick, in the beginning of the office for private baptism, the words “ lawful minister” were inserted, to prevent midwives or laymen from presuming to baptize.
After the Restoration of Charles the Second, in 1661, a commission was issued to empower twelve of the Bishops, and twelve Presbyterian Divines, to consider the objections that had been made against the Liturgy, and to make
such reasonable and necessary alterations as they should jointly agree upon. Nine assistants were added on each side, to supply the place of such of the twelve principals, as should happen to be absent. The commissioners had several meetings at the Savoy, but, with their different prejudices, the subjects of discussion admitted of no easy compromise. The one party felt little disposition to concede or conciliate, and the other as little to soften their asperities. Repulsive in their sentiments, and not very accommodating in their manners, though there were excellent men on both sides, the controversy seems to have been, not who should esteem each other most highly in love for their work's sake, but what party should, with the most rigid stiffness, reject the claims of their former opponents. Had they been mutually disposed to make some sacrifices of their animosities, to the interests of vi. tal religion, the wounds of which had long bled, and which was now convulsed in every nerve, by the blows she had received from all parties, in their mutual collision in the dark, they had erected at once a monument to their own piety, and a temple into which the quiet of the land might have entered, and worshipped in sweet counsel and fellowship. Some of the Bishops, it now appears, were desirous to prevent an union; and eagerly sought an opportunity of troubling the waters, not for the purpose of healing the divisions of Christians, but of embittering them. The Puritans also exhibited a disposition, too much calculated to rouse and to irritate the feelings of the Church, which required rather to be softened than to be enflamed. The dispute between them was not about the superior excellence of a Liturgy, or of extempore prayer; but whether the Liturgy of the Church of England should be continued, or give place