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The two duties will always coincide, unless he should choose to indulge fancies of his own, under the feeling or pretence of private conscience. But, in order to silence any such real or affected qualms of conscience, and to distinguish, beyond mistake, the public from the private character of a minister, we will produce an argument which we humbly consider to be conclusive. None of these ministers doubt that the Decalogue is of divine ordinance. They know that the Sabbath is ordained as a day of rest, and especially from the labour connected with any man's business or calling, whatever it may be: the injunction is clear and absolute, and there is no exception: yet the Sabbath is the day in which the clergy peculiarly labour and do most of what they have to do'it is positively their day of work. How is this to be justified, but by the same common sense that excepts from all such general rules those whose duty it is to see the rule executed ? If in an army it is ordered that none shall lag behind, there must be some appointed to lag behind to see that the order is executed.

If the shops are to be closed on a Sunday, the policeman must perform his duty in seeing it done. So, if there were an order (which there is not) that the people should say their prayers turned to the east, the minister who is to prompt the prayer must turn himself east or west, north or south, according to the localities-and so pronounce the prayer as to be best followed by the people. This is common

- but this is not all. There is a positive Rubric which contradicts this new practice. In the most holy of our rites the minister is enjoined to stand, read, and pray at the north side of the communion-table; if, in that situation, he turns to the east, he must read and pray with his face to the wall: and how is it to be in those churches in which the table is not placed at the east end?—are the congregation to turn away from the minister; or even, as might be the case, to turn their backs on the altar, in order that they may worship to the east? Surely no dicta of Clemens or Tertullian, nor any other ancient authority, can justify a practice so absurd in itself, and so directly at variance with two of the main principles of the Reformation prayer, and the denial that the communion-table is an altar of sacrifice.

The authority of Bishop Stillingfleet, cited by the Bishop of London, would have more weight, in our view of the question, than that of Turtullian or Clemens-indeed it would be nearly decisive if the case really stood as, from the first glance at the Bishop of London's statement, might be supposed. Stillingfleet,' says his Lordship, “considers the custom as derived from primitive times, and as continuing to our own.' If, indeed, it had continued to our own,' we should have humbly subscribed

to

sense

common

to it; for our main objection is, that it is a novelty--a thing never, We believe, practised in our Church since the Reformation; but, of course, the meaning is not our times, but his times'Stillingfleet's times, just 150 years ago. But Stillingfleet does not even say continuing to his own times;' and we have some doubts whether he was speaking of his own times at all. As his is the sole authority produced for this practice, and as we acknowledge that it would be a weighty one, we shall be forgiven for stating our somewhat different interpretation of it. First, let us give Stillingfleet's own words. He is examining the opinions of the casuists' on the question of how far customs are binding when not sanctioned by canonical authority; and in the midst of a very learned dissertation he says

* If the customs be such as are derived from the primitive times, and continue in practice, there is no reason to oppose, but rather to comply with them, or if they tend to promote a delight in God's service. As for instance:

1. Worshipping towards the East was a very ancient custom in the Christian Church. I grant that very insufficient reasons are given for it; which Origen would not have men too busy in inquiring into, but to be content that it was generally received as a practice even in his time: so doth Clemens Alexandrinus before him, who thinks it relates to Christ as the Sun of Righteousness.

Tertullian and S. Basil own the custom, and give no reason.'—Eccles. Cases, 266, Ed. 1702.

Is it, we ask, quite clear that Stillingfleet meant that this form was then actually practised in his own church at Worcester ? The whole chapter professes to be a discussion with the casuists on general questions; and he says that ancient customs, if they continue in practice, may be complied with, even for no better reason than that they are customs, and, “ for instance, produces the authority of those ancient fathers, Origen, Clemens, Tertullian, and St. Basil, who allowed the practice of worshipping towards the East, because it was a practice, though the

reasons they could assign for it were either bad or none at all

. This abstractedly is not much in favour of the practice, but the whole passage reads to us, we confess, rather like a precedent for determining other cases than as a sanction for one actually existing: We admit that it would have been, à priori, more reasonable to suppose that Stillingfleet would take his example from a practice familiar to those he was addressing, and he may perhaps have considered that the placing the altar towards the East, or the turning that way

at the Creed, or the congregation's praying in that direction, was ' worshipping towards the East;' but even if he did allude to those general practices, it by no means follows that he meant that the Minister should ever turn away from his congregation; and on

the

the whole, we cannot but think that, if he had been defending an existing practice in his own cathedral, it would have been more natural to have stated it as a custom which had continued rather from the time than to the time of the early fathers. But giving the utmost extent to the Bishop of London's interpretation of Stillingfleet, Stillingfleet's argument would not apply to our special case, for the form has not continued in practice, but has been disused, for aught that Stillingfleet's evidence can prove, for perhaps a century and a half. But there is an axiom delivered by Stillingfleet, in the very same page, which we think more appropriate to the present state of affairs than the paragraph we have been discussing.

'It is certain that no late customs brought in by such as have no authoriiy to oblige, can bind others to follow them. For this were to lay open a gap to the introducing foolish and superstitious customs into the Church, which would make distinctions without cause, and make way for differences and animosities, which all wise and good men will avoid as much as may be.'—Eccles. Cases, ib.

This, indeed, is a precept worth inculcating!

But there is another authority which has been appealed to for * worshipping towards the East,' and it has the advantage of also explaining the practice—we mean the frontispiece to Bishop Sparrow's Rationale of the Common Prayer,' which looks at first sight like a precedent, but is really none at all,-or rather it tells directly against the practice, It represents a large and handsome church with nave and aisles, but without any pews, seats, or divisions whatsoever--no precedent, therefore, for our present churches. The priest is on his knees in the body of the church at a low desk at the foot of the chancel steps, and looking towards the East; around and behind him the centre of the nave is clear, the congregation is ranged on their knees, in two rows-one on each hand—the heads of the rows one a little nearer the chancel steps, and the other a little further back than the minister's desk:-out of the minister's mouth is a little label with Spare thy people, O Lord !—and certainly the whole is arranged very orderly, and it looks as if the congregation could with great conyenience follow their minister. But it turns out that this is not the ordinary performance of divine service, for under this scene is the following explanatory legend :

'The Litany is to be said or sung in the midst of the Church. The Priest goeth from out of his seat into the body of the Church, and (at a low desk before the chancel-door, called the Fald-stool) kneels, and says or sings the LITANY.' So, then, this authority for worshipping to the East turns out to be an exceptional proceeding confined to the LITANY;. which we

have ourselves seen practised in cathedrals. Nor does it represent the usual place or posture ordained for the minister in the other parts of the service; for he is directed to go from out of his seat and to kneel at this stool; and so far from being at all separated or secluded from the people, he goes into the body of the church, and from the middle of his congregation, ranged in two rows by his side, he puts up their common supplications. The precedent, therefore, as far as it goes, is against the general proposition it is quoted to support, for the minister is there placed in a way different from his usual position.

But, after all, we believe the question to be, as regards the congregation, a mere bubble, without substance or even meaning. We do not believe that in any age or any church a congregation worshipped to the east because it was the east; they followed the instinct that guides every assembly of men, whether collected for business, or pleasure, or prayer, to turn instinctively towards the person who is the organ of the meeting an audience to the stage-a court towards the advocatea senate towards the orator a conventicle towards the preacher. The Romanists turned not to the east, but to their priest--the priest, indeed, stands at the altar, they therefore turned towards the altar--the altar indeed is commonly at the east, therefore they turn to the east and that is all! We have already stated that there were many motives for placing the altar towards the east-but that is not our questionit might have been-it often was in the early Latin Church even -and here in England it now often is, placed to the north or the south--the congregation never thinks, and never thought, of the points of the compass; but wherever the officiating minister was placed, thither their countenances were directed. If the posi. tion of the desk could be such that he should be equally well heard, and as effectually lead the prayers of the people, he praying in the same direction, it would be, no doubt, the best arrangement of all, but this can be rarely exactly accomplished, and in fact the present general practice is the best attainable, that the minister should not turn away either from the altar or the congregation. In fine, is it worth while to revive a custom for which the principal authorities quoted in support of it give-some, no reason at all; others, very bad reasons; and one, more candid, advises you not to inquire too deeply into its origin?

There is, however, a practice with the great majority of con* We may refer here to the admirably condensed and elegantly written Preface of Mr. Gally Knight to his recent work -one of the most splendid and interesting ones that we have seen-on the Ecclesiastical Architecture of Italy, from the Earliest Times down to the Fifteenth Century. Many, perhaps most, of the first churches were Basilicæ-buildings formerly used as courts of justice; and these stood as often North and South as East and West.

gregations,

gregations, and with individuals in all congregations, which has apparently a great affinity to this practice of worshipping towards the east—we mean that of turning towards the communion-table while repeating the Creeds, which does not seem to us liable to any objection, but on the contrary a reasonable usage which ought to be universally followed. 1. It is an ancient custom, not now introduced with any covert design. 2. It is a becoming one; when a large congregation is directed to stand up and repeat with one accord a certain solemn form, a variety of aspects and attitudes looks discordant and irreverent. One direction (no matter, in this view, which) of the congregational movement is desirable. 3. One direction being desirable, which shall it be? No doubt towards—not the east, but—the altar; and for these reasons-because it is the practice-because, from the general arrangement of churches, a person naturally stands fronting the altar, and that in any other position half the congregation must turn their faces to the wall, or the whole their backs to the altar- because the minister, whose voice we are to follow (though in the Creed we hardly need his leading), is usually in that direction—because, in repeating the Creeds, we stand as witnesses, and are giving solemn evidence of our faith, and, as witnesses in a court of justice turn to the judgment-seat, we turn to the Lord's table, not as in itself in any mysterious abstract sense more holy, but as being associated with rites of a higher solemnity, and therefore naturally regarded with deeper habitual respect and reverence than any other portion of the church. It is, we confess, to us a most beautiful and inspiring sight to see a whole congregation suddenly throwing aside all variety of aspect and posture, and turning themselves with one accord in one reverential attitude, and with one voice repeating one profession of one faith, and communion and fellowship in one holy and apostolic church. It is the only occasion in the whole service in which the congregation appears to do any spontaneous act, and it always looks to us as if it gave to the prescribed rite a peculiar air of personal sincerity and assent.

There are some other points upon which the ultra-Rubricians have thought proper to innovate, and on which, as upon all the rest, we think the innovators decidedly wrong in rubric as well

It has been usual, as we all know, for the parish clerk to give out,' as it is called, the metrical psalm in this formula— Let us sing to the praise and glory of God'—so and

Now these gentlemen have discovered that the Rubricwhich says that immediately after the Nicene Creed, between the altar-service and the sermon, shall briefs, citations, and excommunications be read, and nothing shall

be

as reason.

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