22 November 2023

The Usurping Orange (part 2; see yesterday's post)


The Eucharistick Sacrifice being the most efficacious Means for Pardon and Grace, ought to be perform'd with proportionable Care and Solemnity. And since the New Testament has given no Form for this Principal part of the Christian Worship, the safest way is to be govern'd by the Practice of the Ancient Church: Those early Times were best Judges of Apostolical Precedent and Tradition, most exemplary in their Lives, and most remarkably bless'd with the Effusions of the Holy Spirit.

By this Direction, as to Substance and Order, the following Communion-Office is drawn.

Thus at the placing the Elements on the Altar, there is a Prayer for Acceptance, abridg'd out of S Basil's Liturgy.

The most signal Instances of the Divine Providence and Bounty are likewise briefly recounted, as introductive to the Words of Institution. This Recital is Paraphrastically taken from S. James's Liturgy.

After the Words of Institution, the Prayer of Oblation and Invocation is subjoin'd from the Apostolical Constitutions: These Prayers are address'd for completing the Sacrifice, and giving it the highest degree of of Consecration. 

The Prayer for the whole State of Christ's Church is much the same with that in the First Reformed English Liturgy. But the Order is changed, by putting it after the Prayer for Consecration. For when the Sacrifice  commemorative of that upon the Cross, is finished, and God the Father propitiiated by this Memorial: 'tis then the most proper Time to declare the Ends of the Oblation, and recommend the Church to the Divine Protection.

The Introits or Psalms, which begin the Office, stand as they did in our first Reform'd Liturgy.

The Priest's pronouncing the Ten Commandments, with the People's Answer to each, are omitted for the Reasons following: 

First, The putting the Ten Commandments in the Communion-Office was not done by our First English Reformers, and is altogether Modern and Unprecedented.

Secondly, our Duty to God and our neighbour, comprised in the Ten Commandments, is comprehensively explain'd  in the Church-Catechism: The People therefore need only apply to this Instruction; thus they will have a fuller Notion for Practice, than can be gain'd by a bare Repetition of the Decalogue.

Thirdly, the keeping the Sabbath-Day holy is Part of the Mosaick Institution, points upon Saturday, and is peculiar to the Jewish Dispensation: Since therefore the Fourth Commandment looks somewhat foreign to the Christian Religion, since it could not well have been simply omitted, 'tis thought fit to wave repeating the rest: And, instead of this particular Rehearsal to give the Sum and Substance of the whole in our Blessed Saviour's Words, together with the People's Answer at the End of the Tenth.

The rest of the Office is the same with the English Liturgies, excepting that the Rubricks, for more Direction and Solemnity, are somewhar alter'd.

The Cross and the Chrism are restored in the Confirmation-Office. The Sign of the Cross is no less significant here, than In Baptism: It was so used in our First Reform'd Liturgy, and therefore there is no need of saying more about it. And as for the Chrism, it is an Emblem of Spritual Unction, of Grace conferr'd by the Holy Ghost; and with this Reference and Allusion it has been practised by the Primitive and Universal Churtch.

The Anointing with Oil in the Office for the Sick is not only supported by Primitive Practice, but commanded by the Apostle S. James. It is not here administered by way of Extreme Unction, but in order ro Recovery.

Upon the whole, here is nothing introduced without unexceptionable Warrant; nothing of Late Beginning; Here is no Application to Saints or Angels, no Worship of Images, no Praying the Dead out of Purgatory, no Adoration of the Consecrated Elements; nothing that supposes a Corporal Presence, either by Trans- or Con-substantiation; In short, nothing but what is Primitive and agreeable to Scripture, and practis'd by the best recommended and enlighten'd Ages.


Joshua said...

I must say I do admire the superlative eighteenth century English style.

The Post-Sanctus from the 1718 liturgy of the Non-jurors is a close paraphrase of the Liturgy of St James, rendered (I think) into excellent and uplifting prose:

"Holiness is thy nature and thy gift, O Eternal King; Holy is thine only begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom thou hast made the worlds; Holy is thine Ever-blessed Spirit, who searcheth all things, even the depths of thine infinite perfection. Holy art thou, almighty and merciful God; thou createdst Man in thine own image, broughtest him into Paradise, and didst place him in a state of dignity and pleasure: And when he had lost his happiness by transgressing thy command, thou of thy goodness didst not abandon and despise him. Thy Providence was still continued, thy Law was given to revive the sense of his duty, thy Prophets were commissioned to reclaim and instruct him. And when the fullness of time was come, thou didst send thine only begotten Son to satisfy thy Justice, to strengthen our Nature, and renew thine Image within us: For these glorious ends thine Eternal Word came down from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Ghost, born of the Blessed Virgin, conversed with mankind, and directed his life and miracles to our salvation: And when his hour was come to offer the Propitiatory Sacrifice upon the Cross... he, who had no sin himself, mercifully undertook to suffer death for our sins..."

Surely the force of such holy rhetoric reaches its climax thus: "For these glorious ends thine Eternal Word came down from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Ghost, born of the Blessed Virgin, conversed with mankind, and directed his life and miracles to our salvation" - wonderful words and true!

Compare and contrast this to how Jeremy Taylor rendered the same, in his 1658 An Office or Order for the Holy Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, which to my mind is far more plodding:

"Holy and blessed art thou, O King of Eternal ages, fountain and giver of all righteousness. Holy art thou the eternal and onely-begotten Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the World. Holy art thou, O blessed Spirit, that searchest all things, even the depths and hidden things of God. Thou, O God, art Almighty: thou art good and gracious, dreadfull and venerable, holy and mercifull to the work of thine own hands. Thou didst make man according to thine Image; thou gavest him the riches and the rest of Paradise: When he fell and broke thy easie Commandment thou didst not despise his Folly, nor leave him in his sin but didst chastise him with thy rod, and restrain him by thy Law, and instruct him by the Prophets, and at last didst send thy Holy Son into the World, that he might renew and repair thy broken Image. He coming from Heaven, and taking our flesh, by the power of the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, conversed with men, and taught us the way of God, and the dispensation of eternal Life. But when for the redemption of us sinners he would suffer death upon the Cross without sin, for us who were nothing but sin and misery…"

It seems to me that the 1718 version is better.

Albertus said...

Alas, the very last paragraph ruins the whole endevour, it seems to me.