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of grace.

in use in our catechism. The answer natural it was to go on and to imagine to both will be the same.

that sacraments might be called mysQ. What do you mean by this teries. word ordinance ?

In meditating upon these transpoA. I mean an outward and visible sitions, we exonerate Tertullian from sign of an inward and spiritual grace, any intention of deluding or perplexordained by Christ Himself.”

ing his hearers, but the vigilance of Thus far we see the word Sacra- the great enemy took advantage of ment is understood to mean,

his inaccuracy, and of the flexibility 1st. An oath or solemn engage- of modern language, gradually to inent.

work his designs against the truth, 2nd. A Divine ordinance.

through the writings of this well3rd. An outward and visible sign meaning and christian man ; indeed

there are incidents on record which if Tertullian had satisfied himself shew that Tertullian's own mind was with using the word in these three not untainted with superstition with senses, there would not have been so regard to the Lord's Supper, and much confusion, but he gave it a therefore, without any evil design, he greater latitude, denoting by it, some- might, through mere human weaktimes the Holy Scriptures, sometimes ness, have fostered the idea of mysa ceremony or institution of the tery in connection with that sacraChurch, herein perhaps following only ment. the Latin translation of the New Tes

We now plainly perceive that in tament,* as in Col. i. 26, 27; Eph. the days of this ancient Father of the i. 9; v. 32.

Church, the three expressionsBy reflecting carefully upon this The Ordinances, fact, it is not impossible that we may

The Sacraments, solve the difficulty alluded to by

The Mysteries, Dr. M`Neile, with regard to the ap- were all synonymous terms and all plication of the word Mysteries to the applied to the sacred institutions of Sacraments. In his important pam- Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Does phlet entitled “ Baptism doth save,"

' not this explain the use of the term, the following passage occurs, “ The Holy Mysteries, in our Communion enemies of Gospel truth had invented Service? And may we not infer that mysteries in the sacraments; it was the different senses in which Tertul. puzzling to imagine the origin of this, lian used the word, Sacramentum, but it had been skilfully adapted to gave rise to the perplexities that have secure its intended result.”

gradually led to the sacramental sysIf in discoursing upon the above tem, which is now so strongly acting texts, Col. i. 26, 27, and Eph. i. 9; upon the imaginations of multitudes? v. 32, Tertullian used the word sacra- The Sacraments are lively reprementum instead of mystery, an im- sentations of the deepest mysteries pression that the terms were synonym of our religion. mous would gradually insinuate itself The sign (or Sacrament) being into the public mind.

often taken for the thing signified, the If the mystery that had been hid word mystery has been applied to from ages,-the mystery made known the sign, and devout and imaginative to the Gentiles,—the mystery of God's persons meditating upon the word will,—the mystery of the union be- inystery, have supposed a mysterious tween Christ and the Church, could transmutation of the sign into the be spoken of as sacraments, how very thing itself. Hence, Transubstantiation

and Baptismal Regeneration. See Riddle's “Christian Antiquities.”




By the REV. C. H. DAVIS, M.A.,

Author of “ Hints and Suggestions on a Revision of the Liturgy."

“REVISE the Liturgy," is a cry which has from time to time, since the Savoy Conference in 1661, been again and again raised in the Church of England. At the present time a wish for such a revision seems to be prevalent in many quarters.† That such a wish is necessarily and of itself opposed to the avowed principles of the Church of England, as declared and laid down in "the Preface" to the Book of Common Prayer,

Second Edition, published by Mr. J. H. Jackson, Islington Green, and Paternoster Row, London.

+ See a work entitled "Revision; or, a Wise and Timely Alteration of the Baptismal Service, &c." by "a beneficed clergyman," (Seeleys, 1850); "The Anti-Tractarian," by Hon. and Rev. R. Plunket, Dean of Tuam, (Wertheim, 1850); Letter to Lord J. Russell, on "Scriptural Revision of the Liturgy," by "a Member of the Middle Temple," (Groombridge, 1851); Lecture at Plymouth on "Revision of the Liturgy," by J. N. Bennett, Esq., (A. Hall, 1851); Dr. M'Neil's Letter to the Bishop of Exeter, "Baptism doth save," (Hatchard, 1851); Ruskin's "Notes on the Construction of Sheepfolds," (Smith and Elder, 1851); and other tracts by Rev. J. R. Pears, Rev. G. Sandby, E. T. Caulfield, Esq., W. T. Blair, Esq., &c., &c., published in 1850 and 1851; and the "Christian Guardian," for May, 1850, pp. 238-240; August, pp. 360, 361; October, pp. 461-464; November, pp. 510-512; December, p. 553; Jan. 1851, p. 30; Feb. p. 87; March, p. 97; April, p. 169, and 179; May, p. 193, and 225; Aug. p. 337, (J. H. Jackson.) See also Rev. P. Gell's "Essay on Spiritual Baptism and Communion," (Hatchard, 1847.)

"It hath been the wisdom of the Church of England, ever since the first compiling of her publick Liturgy, to keep the mean between the two extremes, of too much stiffness in refusing, and of too much easiness in admitting any variation from it. For, as on the one side common experience sheweth, that where a change hath been made of things advisedly established (no evident necessity so requiring) sundry inconveniences have thereupon ensued; and those many times more and greater than

cannot with any truth be affirmed; but yet the sincere Churchman is always apprehensive lest any such proposed revision, if ever carried into effect, should rather impair than contribute to the beauties and the excellencies of our admirable Liturgy.*

Accordingly we find that the late excellent Rev. H. Venn, writing to a friend in 1771, made the following remark, "On Saturday I dined with our bishop. I find he has no objection to a revisal and alteration of the

liturgy. This change will one day, I fear, take place; and then the measure of our iniquities will be full, when we have cast the doctrine of Christ out of the public worship, avowedly as a nation."-(Life and Correspondence, p. 176.) Not that the sincere Churchman lays claim to any infalli

the evils, that were intended to be remedied by such change: So on the other side, the particular forms of Divine worship, and the Rites and Ceremonies appointed to be used therein, being things in their own nature indifferent, and alterable, and so acknowledged; it is but reasonable, that upon weighty and important considerations, according to the various exigency of times and occasions, such changes and alterations should be made therein, as to those that are in place of Authority should from time to time seem either necessary or expedient." (Preface to the Book of Common Prayer.)

Thus the late Rev. E. Bickersteth remarked, "Our flocks who are in danger, might be preserved safe from serious misunderstanding, if all would allow the right authorities in Church and State to take measures, to leave out, or slightly change some of those expressions of our services most liable to perversion, and that have been the chief stumbling-blocks to pious minds.

But the perils and difficulties of obtaining such a change, from the blindness and unbelief, self-willedness, short-sightedness, and corruption which subsist in all our minds and hearts, are obvious. My fear is, lest we should lose some testimony to Evangelical truth which we now have, if not wholly fail of success." (Defence of the Baptismal Services, &c., p. 23, Seeleys, 1859.)


bility in the formularies of his Church.* Indeed it may be the will of God “Imperfections” as the late Bishop that no book but His own- -His own Mant remarks, “may, perhaps, be Revelation-shall be absolutely faultfound in some of her provisions (as in less.* what of human composition will there We adopt, then, the pious tone of a not?) by those who search for them learned prelate, who truly observes, with an eagle eye,(Charge of 1842, that “all members of our Church p. 8):t our Prayer-book, indeed ap- must thank God, that among the proaches perfection; but no one either many other national blessings bebelieves or asserts that it is absolutely stowed upon us, we possess a Liturgy, perfect. I

probably the most pure and apostovices which are now generally used laries, were as far as possible obviated. together in the morning, by which an There were many things which did unnecessary repetition of the same or then, there are some things which do similar petitions, may be avoided.”- now, offend the true friends of the (Bishop Short's History of the Church Church of England, who willingly of England, s. 749, p. 546.)


lical which exists. The only question * The truth is, that although some persons

which admits of any doubt is, whether would " like a little alteration here," and others

some reasonable objections to it may would willingly "change one or two expressions

not still be obviated; whether some there,” in the Book of Common Prayer, yet that verbal alterations may not be made most persons are (to adopt an observation of with advantage; and a further amalthe Rev. T. Lathbury) “anxious to preserve it gamation take place in the three serunaltered," and are “unwilling to entertain the question of change, lest something which they themselves value should be recommended

turgy as altogether perfect? I answer, No: it for alteration by others." (Lathbury's History of

is a human composition; and there is nothing Convocation, c. xv. p. 388.) Thus a learned and

human that can claim so high a title as that of able writer speaks of the Prayer-book as having

absolute perfection. There are certainly some been brought to a close conformity with primi

few expressions which might be altered for the tive models and with holy writ, and though not

better, and which in all probability would have faultless, yet so free from any important imper

been altered at the Conference which was apfection, as happily to leave for modern hands

pointed for the last revision of it, if the unrealittle cause to attempt that arduous task of

sonable scrupulosity of some, and the unbending liturgical emendation.” (Rev. S. Rowe's Appeal pertinacity of others, had not defeated the object to the Rubric, &c. p. 7., Hatchard, 1841. This

of that assembly." (Simeon's Hore Homileticæ, little work is an admirable, and truly scriptural

vol. ii. No. 136, p. 211.) Again, “ I do not mean commentary on the Liturgy, well worthy of at

however to say, that a slight alteration in two tentive perusal.)

or three instances would not be an improve

ment; since it would take off a burthen from + Thus the late Bishop Mant has observed

many minds, and supersede the necessity of that “At the era of the Reformation, by the

laboured explanations." (No. 135, p. 200.) Again, agency of her sons, well versed as they were in

“Now then, acknowledging that our Liturgy is the history and writings of the early Church,

not absolutely perfect, and that those who most the Anglican Church compiled her form of

admire it would be glad if these few blemishes prayer for her people, after the likeness, so far

were removed ;" &c. (No. 136, p. 214.) as change of circumstances would permit, in

* It has been well observed, that "There is a all respects, on the principles of the Catholic Church in her purest ages.

In the exercise of

natural and not blame-worthy tendency in many a sound judgment upon matters indifferent or

minds to yearn after what is perfect, and even questionable, some things she chose, and others

to expect and demand it. But the more expeshe rejected, and as the progressive light of

rience enlarges and matures their view, the

more will they learn that, in the present disdivine knowledge beamed more clearly on her vision, clouded as it had been by the obscurity

pensation, perfection is unattainable. It is well, of the mediæval corruptions, she continued to

indeed, to keep a high standard-even the highmake successive improvements, until her Li

est-before us; for, to reach high, we must aim turgy was liberated from all essential error, and

high. But a calm acquiescence, rather than attained comparative perfection.” (Charges of

vexation or despair, will be the temper of mind

of one who has learned the lessons of expe1842, p. 10. See also, Bishop Mant's Prayer

rience, even on his twentieth failure to reach Book, pp. vi. vii. viii., and Bishop Jebb's Pastoral Instructions, Discourses iii. and iv.)

the perfection he desires. And a reasonable

attachment to institutions, as well as to person, I Thus the late Rev. C. Simeon, in his third will be founded, -not on any imaginary but undiscourse on the “Excellency of the Liturgy," real spotlessness, but on a high degree of excelremarks, " From this view of our subject it will lence.”(The Morning Herald, of ilth Oct., be naturally asked, Do I then consider the li- 1848.)

comply with the Liturgy and services And when we consider the violence

as established by law, because they and the tone with which a revision esteem the Common Prayer Book, as of the Liturgy is urged in some quar- a whole, to be a most excellent comters,* it becomes those who are most position, one wonderfully well suited attached to their Church to consi

to the purposes for which it was inder whether they may not, by a tended ; but who, nevertheless, regard little timely change, stem the tide of it as a human production, and thereopposition, and prevent the ultimate fore capable of improvement, as well accomplishment of still greater and as requiring, from time to time, verbal more serious changes in our time- alterations, as the language of the honoured formularies. + For the country gradually varies. And the learned Bishop of St. Asaph, speaking quiet friend of reform cannot but of the proposed revision in 1089, feel sorry that this attempt was then truly observes, that “it would surely dropped, and has never since been be desirable, if every objection which carried into effect.” (Bishop Short's a sober and reasonable member of the History of the Church of England, Church might make to these formu- s. 810, p. 593.)*

Nor need we fear the perpetual re• For example, see “Revise the Liturgy,” by

currence of capricious changes if, “A Peer,(Hatchard, 1845); and Nos. 2 and 4

after one revision, the example of of “the Wickliffe Club" tracts, (Partridge and

our American brethren were followed, Oakey, 1849); and some of the speeches at the

who passed an Ordinance, in 1811, London meeting on 28 May, 1851, in a pamphlet entitled, "The Conference on Church Reform."

* Elsewhere Bishop Short, speaking of re(Nisbet, 1851.)

form generally, well observes that “reforms + It has been remarked with some truth that which proceed from those in authority are al“At present the prevalent feeling of Church- most always safe, and generally beneficial,” men is indifference and half allegiance to a (History, &c., s. 584, p. 422); but that “the neChurch with which they are not satisfied, while cessity of reformation will be first visible to the Non-conformists justify their separation by those who suffer most by existing abuses, and dwelling on those particulars in which the the desire of it, therefore, must spring from the Church is supposed to be assimilated to Popery. people; but it can hardly produce good, unless ....The longer the reformation of any institu- it be managed by the upper orders, by men who tion is delayed, the more sweeping the reform are so situated as to perceive the advantage of when it comes.... At present we may hope that institutions, which, however useful in thema correction of our formularies, in a few parti- selves, have become from mismanagement liculars, ...,might satisfy tens of thousands, and able to serious objections,” &c. (s. 601, p. 447); give stability to the Church for many genera- hence, “ a wise and good government will entions. But if this is delayed much longer, the deavour to guide the opinions of its subjects, a eyes which watch for defects will find much bad one will try to resist them; but in human more to correct, and the work will fall some affairs, that nation may be deemed fortunate in day into the hands of enemies instead of friends, which the government gradually follows the who will be too glad if the work of restoration progress of the opinions of its more enlightened should prove one of demolition.” (The One Cure, subjects. (s. 491, p. 332.) With respect then, &c., by Rev. J. R. Pears, pp. 10, 11, and 12. to the Established Church, Bishop Short rePartridge g. Oakey, 1850.) Speaking of those marks, if there be faults but too visible in the who are over-timid lest the Liturgy should be administration of this establishment, let us pray spoiled by any revision, Mr. Pears observes, God that they may be reformed by the steady that even “if nothing was left of the Liturgy, hand of those invested with legal authority; men would still have liberty to believe and and that neither the dilatoriness, nor the halfteach all that is contained in the word of God, measures, of her real friends, may transfer the and they cannot honestly do more as it is."

task of reformation to thoxe who are hostile to (p. 12.)

the interests of our Church.” (s. 819, p. 597.)


prohibiting changes from that time undeniable facts of the case by which she is forward, “ unless proposed at one

surrounded." (The Church and the Churches, Convention, and ratified three years c. viii. pp. 400, 401. 2nd Edit. Seeleys.) afterwards at the next.” (Rev. P.

It must not be forgotten that even our auHall's Reliquiæ Liturgicæ,vol. i.

thorized version of the Bible, excellent as it p. liii.) The Liturgy revised,(with a

confessedly is, is susceptible of improvement. caution to change nothing for the

A revision of our present translation has been recommended by several learned

divines ; mere sake of change), and established with some such defence as this, would

among whom may be named the late Bishop thenceforth be free from the danger Gray, of Bristol, in the concluding pages of the

“Introduction” to his “ Key to the Old Testaof rash and hasty revisions.*

ment,” (pp. 23—25, Tegg's Edition,) and Bishop * For Dr.M'Neile justly reminds us that "the Short, in his “History of the Church of Engipsissima verba of our Church-service, however land," s. 540, p. 382 ; also Professor Scholefield, excellent, are not given by inspiration of God. of Cambridge. Several editions of the Bible By a slight alteration, very slight, more verbal have of late years appeared, printed in the pathan real, the cause of truth would lose no- ragraph form, with the omission of the “ headthing, and the cause of the Church of England ings” of the chapters, which is a great imwould gain much,, by enabling her attached provement. The two first volumes of a valuable ministers and members to show, with more sim- new edition of the Bible on this plan, have been plicity, and with less need for laborious expla- published by the Religious Tract Society. The nations—which wear to many the appearance “Chronological New Testament” published by of evasion--the harmony of her various official Mr. Blackader, is also a valuable edition framed documents among themselves, and with the on this same plan.


“The Bishop:- Take heed that the persons whom ye present unto us, be apt and

meet, for their learning and godly conversation, to exercise their ministry duly,

to the honour of God, and the edifying of His Church.” “ The Archdeacon.— I have enquired of them, and also examined them, and think

them so to be." - The Ordering of Deacons and Priests.

In these days of talking and writing “Physician, heal thyself.” Our orabout assumption, aggression, and gans of vision will not permit us encroachment, it will prove, probably, either to perceive the occasion of our one means of prevention and refor- disorder, or enable us to remove it. mation, which we have been invited “ The blind” cannot skilfully perform to take into our own hands, * if each the requisite operations on the body ecclesiastical person in holy orders politic or ecclesiastic. would ask himself, Do I assume, or Now, it is to be feared that, for have I assumed, more than I ought to want of a healthy and free vision, the have done? Have I been guilty of recent period of excitement and proaggression, or, have I encroached on fession of zeal will pass away, withthe province and special duties of out, in many parishes and districts, others ? For, if I have, whilst we any well informed and directed efhave a beam in our own eye, how can fort being made, to cure and “banish” we behold the mote that is in our the grounds of universal complaint; brother's eye? The same, or a greater because the eye of men's understandfault in ourselves, will prevent, and ing is so affected and perverted, and not allow of our so much as impar- withal their heart so evilly biassed, tially searching for the hidden cause that they cannot, in their several of “all our woes,” In such cases we localities and offices, attempt the civil are physically, as well as morally, and spiritual improvement of the souls disqualified for acting as physicians; committed to their care, without suband we may be met by the reproof, jecting themselves to rebuke. The

* Vide Christian Guardian, p. 361. prophet's description, from the crown

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