« הקודםהמשך »
say, or else the ministers and clerks shall sing, &c., and desire that ministers may be left to use their discretion in these circumstances, &c. And alteration was made, that the priest and clerks meeting the corpse at the entrance of the church-yard, and going before it, either into the church, or towards the grave, shall say or sing. They objected to the priest's saying at the grave, We commit his body to the ground, in sure and certain hope of resurrection to eternal life : the sense of which was altered by saying, certain hope of the resurrection, &c.; and objecting to other expressions of God's taking to Himself the soul- we may rest in Him as our hope is this our brother doth, 8c., they put in a Rubric, ‘Here is to be noted, that the office ensuing is not to be used for any that die unbaptized or excommunicated, or that have laid violent hands upon themselves.'
(20.) In the Churching of Women, they object to the Rubric, The women shall come into the church, and there shall kneel down in some convenient place nigh unto the place where the Table standeth, and the priest standing by her, &c., which kneeling near the Table (they say) is in many churches inconvenient, and therefore they desire that these words may be left out, and that the minister may perform that service either in the desk or in the pulpit. The new Rubric, therefore, only directs that the woman, at the usual time after her delivery, shall come into the church decently apparelled, and there shall kneel down in some convenient place, as hath been accustomed, or as the ordinary shall direct. And the 121st Psalm, before prescribed, being objected as seeming not so pertinent as some other, it was now advised that the priest say the 116th or 127th Psalm.
And besides these and other alterations in the Liturgy, there were made many corrections in the Calendar. No Apocryphal lessons to be read on the Sundays, the Epistles and Gospels according to the New Translation, with an addition of Prayers and Thanksgivings upon several occasions, a new office for the administration of Baptism to such as are of riper years, and Forms of Prayer to be used at sea.
Besides these numerous and important concessions made to the Presbyterian and Puritan party, enumerated by Bishop Kennet, it must be noticed that, though the Convocation would not give up any one of the “three ceremonies” objected to, namely, the Surplice, Kneeling at the Lord's Supper, and the Cross in baptism, or allow these to be optional, yet they so far respected the objections which had been urged, as to re-introduce the Rubric respecting kneeling, which Bishop Kennet mentions; and in the case of the cross in baptism, a new Rubric was appended, which refers to a canon explaining at large the reasons for retaining the sign of the cross, “when purged from all Popish superstition and error.”
By all these alterations the Protestant tope of our Formu. laries was maintained and strengthened; but there were also two alterations not noticed by Bishop Kennet, the value of
which it was scarcely possible to appreciate before the tendencies of modern times became manifest; but which, under present circumstances, call for special thanksgiving to the overruling providence of God.
The Rubric after the Communion, in the Prayer Book of 1604, directed that “If any bread and wine remains, the curate shall have it to his own use." But in 1661 there was added, “If any remain of that which was consecrated, it shall not be carried out of the Church, but the Priest and such other communicants as he shall call unto him, shall, immediately after the blessing, reverently eat and drink the same." By this provision all attempts to revive a “reseryed Sacrament” were shut out, together with other superstitious uses to which in the Reformation times the “ Host” was applied, and which the present day has witnessed the strange desire of reviving.
Again, in the Baptismal service, the important word “mystical" was inserted in the Consecration prayer—"Sanctify this water to the mystical washing away of sin.” In the common language of that day, the term “mystical”is synonymous with“sacramental”or"figurative”; and the insertion of the term in this place is at least a caution against the too common assumption that the Declaration,“ seeing now this child is regenerate,” must be taken in an absolute sense: the more “natural” construction is, that the Declaration does not go beyond the prayer, but must be understood in a mystical or sacramental sense.
The providence of God which watched over the revision of the Prayer Book is the more remarkable when it is remembered that the Convocation of 1661 did not comprise one member of the old Puritan or Presbyterian party. Baxter writes," that the Convocation was not summoned till many hundreds of the clergy were turned out,” and all who had been ordained without Bishops “ were in many counties denied any voice in the election of clerks for the Convocation ; by which means, and by the scruples of abundance of ministers, who thought it unlawful to have anything to do in the choosing of such a kind of assembly, the Diocesan party wholly carried it in the choice." (Life, ii. 333.) Baxter and Calamy were indeed elected for the city of London, but Bishop Sheldon excluded them by his privilege of selecting four out of six candidates presented to him.
It might be an interesting enquiry, how the Protestant party, which showed so much strength in Convocation, should have shown so little spirit in the Savoy Conference. But we have few particulars beyond the bare minutes of this Convocation in the Synodus Anglicana. One anecdote, which has been preserved by Burnet, may throw some light upon the subject. He writes, “ The important addition (of the Rubric against Transubstantiation) was made chiefly by Gauden's means. The Papists were
he sale Savoy we shall find own
highly offended when they saw such an express declaration made against the real presence; and the Duke (of York) told me, that when he asked Sheldon how they came to declare against a doctrine which, he had been instructed, was the doctrine of the Church, Sheldon answered, ‘Ask Gauden about it, who is a Bishop of your own making,' for the King had ordered his promotion for the service he had done." (Burnet, Own Times, i. 267.) If we turn to Baxter's Life, we shall find short descriptions of the members of the Savoy Conference. Of Gauden, Bishop of Exeter, he says, “He was our most constant helper....He was the only moderator of all the bishops. Had all been of his mind, we had been reconciled. When, by many days' conference, in the beginning we had got some moderating concessions, from him, and from Bishop Cosin by his means, the rest came in the end and brake them all.”
We have now, however, to call special attention to that which may be well styled the crowning mercy to our Church at this era, namely, its preservation from an insidious attempt to twist our formularies into a declaration of the sacerdotal character of the minister, and of a propitiary sacrifice in the consecrated elements.
In our Article in our last number, reference was made to the Laudian movement in the reign of Charles the First, which contributed to the overthrow both of Church and State. It was sbown also, that this sacerdotal and sacrificial theory of the Lord's Supper was incorporated into the Scotch Prayer Book. The attempt to do the same with the English Prayer Book in the Convocation of 1661, was mercifully defeated. The general statement of this defeated attempt is given in “Cardwell's History of Conferences, &c.” We are able also to add a remarkable corroboration of the truth of Dr. Cardwell's statement.
When the King's licence to the Convocation to revise and amend the Book of Common Prayer was received and read in Convocation (November 21, 1661), a committee of eight bishops was chosen to prepare the revision for the consideration of the Upper House of Convocation : three to be a quorum. At the head of the list were Bishops Cosin and Wren, who had been engaged in the composition of the Scotch Prayer Book. The committee comprised also Bishop Morley, the great opponent of Baxter in the Savoy controversy, but did not comprehend Bishop Gauden. The other Bishops were Skinner, Warner, Henshman, Sanderson, Nicholson. This committee presented a corrected Prayer Book, which must have been prepared long before; and there can be little doubt that the corrections were the work of Bishops Cosin and Wren, and contained the counterpart of the alterations that they had introduced into the Scotch Prayer Book, under the auspices of Archbishop Laud, especially in reference to the Sacerdotal and Sacrificial theory. On the 22nd November, two meetings of Convocation were held, the one of an hour's duration, the second of an hour and a half. On the 23rd November, at a meeting held between 8 and 9 a.m., the first portion of the revised Prayer Book was sent to the Lower House for their consideration. Three other meetings of the Upper House, lasting two hours each time, were held, when (November 27th the rest of the revised Prayer Book was communicated to the Lower House, and the Lower House gave back their emendations upon the revision of the first part. The Upper House were now far more deliberate in their dealing with the emendations of the Lower House, and with the preparation of a new Preface and Calendar. They met on twelve occasions, for two hours each time, before the revision was finally settled; and the whole book, with the revisions incorporated, was given (December 13th) to a committee, to be fairly written, and for attachment to the Act of Uniformity. Both these books are preserved in the Library of the House of Lords; that is, the printed copy with its MŠ. corrections, and the MS. book signed by the Convocation, and presented to Parliament and attached to the Act of Uniformity.
It appears that another copy of the printed Prayer-book of 1634 exists in the Bodleian, which probably contains the first proposed revision submitted to the Convocation, and from which the alterations were copied into the book kept in the House of Lords, as far as they were adopted by the bishops. Of this book Dr. Cardwell writes :
“There is still in existence a copy of the edition of 1634, with a great number of corrections in manuscript, prepared for this Convocation, and carrying so much the appearance of completeness and authority as to contain minute instructions to the printer. The corrections are all of them in the handwriting of Mr. Sancroft, who was at that time chaplain to the Bishop of Durham (Cosin), and was afterwards appointed by the Convocation to superintend the Prayerbook in its progress through the press. The copy itself, it may fairly be presumed, was drawn up by Mr. Sancroft, under the directions of Bishops Cosin and Wren, and was produced in the Congocation of the 21st of November, when the Committee of which these bishops were the leading members seem to have reported that the preparation was already made, and that the whole house might proceed immediately to the work of revision. However this may be, the corrections contain, together with many important improvements, strong indications of such sentiments respecting the real presence in the Eucharist, and prayers for the dead, as were entertained by the bishops above-mentioned, and became afterwards the distinguishing creed of the nonjuring clergy. Doubtless the Liturgy prepared for Scotland was before them when they made their cor. rections in the English Service. It is clear that they were indebted to it in several of their alterations; although they have constantly improved upon it, in some instances taking a higher, in others a more subdued, tone of doctrine and expression. But the presence of these manuscript corrections will easily account for the speed with which the task of revision was completed.” (Cardwell, p. 389.)
In a note, Dr. Cardwell gives some of the corrections in Mr. Sancroft's book, "which seem to belong to the Laudian school of theology."
1. « The Rubric respecting the consecrated elements which remain after distribution.” It has been already shown, that if this was a Laudian device, it has been signally overruled for a safeguard against Laudian errors of the present day.
2. “The alteration made in the admonition respecting kneel. ing at the Communion.” This alteration consisted in the substitution of the words “corporal presence" for "real presence," which would have been a material alteration if applied simply to Christ, inasmuch as the real presence of Christ may mean His spiritual presence; but in the admonition the words are applied to “the natural flesh and blood of Christ.” In this application the alteration of the words can have no effect upon the meaning.
3. A Rubric was proposed and rejected—"The table always standing in the midst at the upper end of the chancel shall have, at the Communion, upon it”..."paten, chalice, and other decent furniture meet for the high mysteries there to be celebrated.” Had this proposal been adopted, a door would have been opened for lighted candles and all other emblems of superstition.
4. “Rubric after the sentence, The priest shall then offer up and place upon the table.” This rubric was partly adopted, but the words “offer up” were omitted,-a most significant fact, that, though the bread and wine were to be placed on the table as the Service books are placed upon the table, no oblation or offering up was sanctioned.
(5.) Proposed alteration in the Rubric, of “Church Militant” to “ Christ's Catholic Church,”-rejected.
(6.) Proposal to restore the prayer of oblation from King Edward's first Service Book, rejected.
(7.) Proposed Rubric at the end of the Communion Service, “Though wafer bread, pure and without figure upon it, shall not be forbidden," rejected.
To these particulars, another may be added from an inspection of the Books in the House of Lords.
(3.) It was proposed to alter the Rubric for the normal position of the Minister at the Communion from the “North side" to the "North part” which would have allowed him to turn