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JUXON, Under this head they are somewhat more particular:
And first, “they charge the Collects with being generally too short, many of them consisting but of one, or at most but of two sentences of petition. That they are generally prefaced with a repeated mention of the name and attributes of God, and presently concluded with the name and merits of Christ. That by this disposition of the service, many unnecessary breaks are occasioned; and that when many petitions are to be offered at the same time, these interruptions are neither agreeable to scriptural examples, nor suited to the gravity of that holy duty.
Secondly, They object the prefaces of many Collects have no clear and direct reference to the following petitions. That the petitions are put together without due order or natural connexion, and falling short, instead of being suitable to the occasions for which they are used, seem to have been the effect of chance and inadvertency. It is therefore desired, that instead of those discontinued Collects there may be one methodical and entire form of prayer composed out of many of them.”
“ 17. They observe the public liturgy of a Church ought to comprehend the sum of all such sins as are ordinarily to be confessed in prayer, and take in such petitions and thanksgivings as are commonly to be put up by the Church : and that the catechisms, or public systems of doctrine, should contain a brief abstract of all such doctrines as are necessary to be believed: and the points should be set down in a clear, explicit manner. And here they pretend the liturgy is defective as to all these matters.
1. Say they," there is no preparatory prayer in the beginning of the service for God's assistance and acceptance;" and yet many collects in the middle of the worship have little or nothing else.
2. “ The Confession," as these ministers continue," is very defective: original sin is not clearly expressed, nor the number of actual sins, with their aggravations, sufficiently enlarged on; that the form goes too much upon generals; whereas confession, being an exercise of repentance, ought to be more particular."
3. They complain of “a great defect in the forms of public CHARLES thanksgiving
4. They object “ the whole body of the Common Prayer is too much wrapt up in generals : as, “to be kept from all evil, ' from all enemies,' • from all adversity,' that we may do God's will,' &c., without dilating upon the particulars included.”
5. They pretend “the Catechism is defective in many necessary doctrines, and that some of the essentials of Christianity are not mentioned, unless in the Creed."
18. They allege “ the liturgy enjoins the use of several ceremonies, which, from the time of the first Reformation, have been judged unwarrantable by divers learned and pious men.” The impositions complained of are, “first, the enjoining the use of the surplice ; secondly, that none may baptize or be baptized without the transient image of the cross, which has at least," say they," the appearance of a sacrament of human institution ; thirdly, the enjoining the posture of kneeling at receiving the Lord's supper,”—and here they cite the authority of our Saviour and his apostles for a different gesture ;
“and that the Church of England contradicts the practice of the Catholic Church for several ages, and runs counter to the canons of the most venerable synods ; and, lastly, that the weight of these impositions is still made more burthensome by the canons requiring the clergy to subscribe their lawful- of all the
of the Commissioners
To these exceptions, the commissioners, who represented of both per
c. the Church of England, returned an answer, part of which London
printed in shall be laid before the reader :
1661. 1. The Presbyterian ministers objected, “the liturgy had the answer all along given dissatisfaction to several persons of piety and of the comlearning.” To this the episcopal divines returned, “ that the for the passages complained of in the liturgy ought to be evidently proved unlawful before any alterations can be demanded; that it is no argument to say, a great many pious persons scrupled the use of it, unless it can clearly be made out the liturgy has given just ground for such scruples : for, otherwise, if the bare pretence of scruples is a sufficient plea to discharge us from obedience, all law and order can signify nothing. To this they add, “ that, if the liturgy should be altered as the
JUXON, ministers' paper requires, the generality of the soberest and Abp. Cant.
best members of the Church of England would have just cause of disgust: for that such an alteration would imply a concession that this liturgy was an intolerable burthen upon
tender consciences, and an usage plainly superstitious : for these are the pretences suggested for an alteration. Now, the granting all this must infer the justifying those who have separated from it, and the condemning all those who have adhered to it with the hazard and loss of lives and fortunes.” After this introduction, they proceed to give an answer to the first general proposal,
and affirm, “ that the English reformers had been careful to swer to the put nothing into the liturgy but what is either evidently the Presbyterians' first
Word of God, or has been generally received by the Catholic proposal.
Church.” To the next proposal they answer, “ that great car must be taken to suppress private conception of prayer, both before and after sermon ; that, otherwise, private opinions will be brought into pulpit-prayers. For what else can be expected, if private persons may have the liberty of making public devotions?"
To that part of the proposal, that prayers may consist of nothing “ doubtful or questioned by pious, learned, and orthodox persons,” the episcopal divines reply, “ that, since it is not defined and ascertained who those orthodox persons are, they must either take all those for orthodox persons who have the assurance to affirm themselves such ; and, if so, the demand is unreasonable : for some, who deny the divinity of the Son of God, will style themselves orthodox; and yet there is no reason we should part with an article of our Creed for their satisfaction. Besides, the proposal requires an impossibility : for there never was, nor ever will be, any prayers couched in such a manner as not to be questioned by some people who call themselves pious, learned, and orthodox. But if by
orthodox' is meant only those who adhere to Scripture and the Catholic consent of antiquity, they are not of opinion that any part of the English liturgy has been questioned by
To the general objection, of “the English service being loaded with church-pomp, imagery, many superfluities, and reviving obsolete customs,"—to this they answer, “ that, if these generals are intended to be applied to the liturgy, they are gross calumnies, and a contradiction to the confession of
these very ministers, in the latter part of their exceptions. CHARLES But, if no application is intended, they are foreign to the purpose ; and, therefore, it had been more prudence and candour not to have mentioned them."
To go on with the Church commissioners, who need not be mentioned at every
article: “ It was the wisdom of our reformers," say they, “to draw up such a liturgy as neither Romanists nor Protestants could justly except against : and therefore, as the first never charged it with any positive errors, but only with the want of something they conceived necessary; so was it never found fault with by those properly distinguished by the name of Protestants,that is, those of the Augustine confession. And as for others, who have brought the Church-service into dislike with some people, this practice of theirs has been their fault and their sin ; so that, to urge the present state of affairs as an argument why the book should be altered, is by no means reasonable. To do this would be to gratify these men in an error, and make their own unwarrantable conduct of advantage to
" The third and fourth proposals may go together, the The answer demand in both being against responsals and alternate read to the third ings in hymns, psalms, &c.; and that upon such a motive proposals. as really rather proves the necessity of continuing them in their present condition. They would take these usages away ' because they do not edify.' Now, for this very reason, they ought to be kept on: for, that they do edify, is plain ; if not by informing our understandings, (the prayers and hymns being never made for a catechism,) yet by quickening, keeping up, and uniting our devotion, which is apt to sleep or grow languid in a long-continued prayer. Our edification, therefore, is best consulted by being called on and awakened by frequent "amens;' by being excited by mutual exultations, petitions, and holy emulations, which of us shall go farthest in showing his own zeal for the glory of God, or contribute most to that of others. For this purpose, alternate reading, repeti- Chron. tions, and responses, are far more serviceable than a long Ezra iii.
Nor is this our opinion only, but the judg- Socrat. lib.6. ment of former ages, as appears by the practice of the Jewish cap.8. and ancient Christian Churches.
JUXON, “But these demandants object this custom clashes with the Abp. Cant.
Scripture: that these inspired writings declare the minister's being appointed for the congregation in public prayers : that the people's part is only to attend with silence, and signify their assent by saying amen.
Now if these gentlemen mean that the people in public services must only say the word amen, they have no text to prove their assertion. Besides, they themselves practise the direct contrary in one of their principal parts of worship ; we mean their singing of psalms, where the people have as great a part as the minister. Now if this may be done in Hopkins', why not in David's psalms ? If in metre, why not in prose? If in a psalm, why not in a
litany? Answer to “ Farther, it is desired that nothing should be in the liturgy the fifth objection.
which so much as seems to countenance the observation of Lent as a religious fast: this is requested as an expedient for peace, and is in effect to desire our Church may shew herself contentious for the sake of peace, and divide from the Catholic Church, that we may correspond the closer at home, and live at unity among ourselves. But St. Paul reckons those contentious who
the custom of the Churches of God. Now that the religious observation of Lent was a custom of the Chrysost.
Churches of God appears by the testimonies of the fathers.
This demand therefore has no tendency to peace, but dissenCyril. Catec. myst. 5. St. sion. And here the fasting forty days may be practised in August Ep. imitation of our Saviour, notwithstanding what is objected to
the contrary: for though we cannot reach up to his divinity, pascha observetur, follow him passibus æquis, and abstain wholly from meat for so
long a time, yet we may fast forty days together, either as
Cornelius did, till three o'clock in the afternoon, or till noon, Jerome, Ep. as St. Peter did, or at least we may come up to Daniel's fast, ad Marcels and forbear entertaining our palate: and thus far, without
question, it is possible for us to imitate our Lord. Nor does traditionem A postolo- the act of parliament, 5 Eliz. forbid fasting in this manner, or
upon the view above mentioned : we dare not suppose the par
liament had any intention to prohibit a custom commanded by 881.
the Church of Christ : neither does the act determine any Lenten fast, but only provides for the increase of the navy, and encouraging the fishery upon that score. Besides, we must not interpret one statute so as to make it clash with
Hom. 11. in
119. ut 40. dies ante