Imagens das páginas

with the more readiness and de- during the time of consecration cency break the bread before the he shall stand at such a part of people, and take the cup into his the holy table where he may with hands, he shall say the prayer of the more ease and decency use consecration, as followeth.” both his hands."

The mysterious instruction to “use both his hands ” suggested the inquiry—for what purpose, unless it were that he should use them in the elevation of the host, with his back to the people ?1

As interpreted from the other side, the significant meaning of these postures was, that the priest was not ministering to the people. Of them he took no count; he was elevating and adoring the host, and they were permitted to behold this act, and to adore apart.

But according to Prynne, looking at the rubric as Laud had written it with his own hand, it tended more distinctly and emphatically to bring out this conclusion.

His account is : “In the rubric, before the prayer of consecration, he makes this observable alteration and insertion of his own. The English rubric is only, Then the priest, standing up, shall say as followeth; the archbishop adds this with his own hand, Shall say the prayer of consecration, as followeth. But then during the time of consecration the presbyter which consecrateth SHALL STAND IN THE MIDST BEFORE THE ALTAR while he celebrates, with his back to

1 The Scots commissioners put the charge thus :

" It seems to be no great matter that, without warrant of the book of England, the presbyter, going from the north end of the table, shall stand during the time of consecration at such a part of the table where he may with the more ease and decency use both his hands ; yet being tried, it importeth much," &c.

“That he may the more conveniently lift up the bread and wine over his head to be seen and adored of the people ; who, in the rubric of general confession a little before, are directed to kneel humbly on their knees, that the priest's elevation, so magnified in the mass, and the people's adoration may go together."

To this charge Laud answers : Good God! whither tends this malice? There is not a word in the book of this neither. Not of lifting the bread and wine over his head, much less is there anything to have it adored by the people. And as there is nothing in the book, so nothing hạth ever been said or done by me that tends this way." Troubles and Trials, 116, 117.

ce materia

the people, who by this mean can neither see nor hear very well what he doth ; which is directly taken out of the Mass-book.”1 In this passage the words quoted are not absolutely separated from the angry comments of the quoter; but he certainly means to say that he found in Laud's handwriting the instruction to stand in the midst before the altar.”

A question arises, whether in this the accurate recordantiquary was for once inexact, or was guilty of fabrication. If that prayer-book, with the alterations in Laud's handwriting, found by him in the Tower, could now be seen, that question would be easily settled. I cannot find anything to give a hope that this precious volume may be found; but I have seen what professes to be an exact duplicate of it in the library of Lambeth Palace, and the internal evidence assists the external conditions in convincing me that this transcript is accurate. It is made on a copy of the English Prayer-book. This is altered throughout in manuscript, as an author makes alterations on his proofs when he has changed his mind as to what he means to print. The pen is drawn through the passages to be omitted, and those to be substituted or added are written on the inargin. The shape then in which Laud drafted the rubric, and that in which it was ultimately adjusted, will be seen thus :

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


“Then the presbyter, standing “ Then the presbyter, standing up, shall say the prayer of conseup, shall say the prayer of conse- cration, as followeth. But then 'cration, as followeth. But then during the time of consecration during the time of consecration he the presbyter which consecrates shall stand at such a part of the shall stand in the midst before the holy table where he may with the altar, that he may with the more more ease and decency use both ease use both his hands, which he his hands."

cannot so conveniently do standing at the north end of it.”

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The priest's posture. is made the more distinct by subsequent instructions in the manuscript alterations ad

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Hidden Works, 160.

ids this

dressed to "the presbyter standing up, and turning himself to the people.” 1

From all this it would appear, that if among the bishops in Scotland there was a small group disposed, like Wedderburn, to go all the way with Laud, the preponderating policy was to restrain rather than to stimulate him. Nor in seeing this are we compelled to maintain that his conduct is inconsistent with an original design merely to transfer the English book to Scotland. Uniformity of ceremonial in the two countries was a natural first step,

i The Lambeth volume is a quarto prayer-book dated in 1634. The manuscript alterations are in a hand of the seventeenth century, probably the latter half of it. There is this memorandum by the writer : “ The alterations of the common prayer in the following book were copied from the book of A. BP. Laud, printed 1636, 4to, and now remaining in the library of the city of Norwich.” Inquiries in Norwich, though made by a gentleman of much learning in liturgic literature, and with peculiar local facilities, were neither successful in discovering the volume nor any trace of its fate. The memorandum further says : “ Almost all the alterations are in the archbishop's own hand. Some few are in the hand in which the warrant for altering is written, and are therefore distinguished by adding under them the letter S, supposing them to be the hand of the secretary. A few others, in a different hand, are distinguished by adding Sc., supposing them to be made in Scotland, according to the tenor of the warrant." The king's warrant, above referred to, is on the same page with the morning and evening prayers. Among the MS, notes the cause of an accident in the printing of the Service-book is explained. At the foot of the last page, before the Psalms, there is the catchword “ Certaine.” This is to carry over to the contents of next page, but there is no next page. In the book on which Laud made his alterations there were “ certaine godly prayers for sundry purposes.” Prefixed to these is the instruction in MS. : “His majesty commands that those prayers following, or any others (for they are different in several editions), be all left, and not printed in your liturgy.” There is a touch of the peremptory in this as well as in an instruction about the Church catechism ; “This catechism must be retained in your liturgy, and no other admitted in your several parishes." There is one morsel of honesty in Laud's MS. not repeated in the printed Service-book. In the MS. the Psalms are “according to the translation in King James his time.” In the printed book they are called “the Psalms of David, translated by King James.” As we shall see in connection with the Psalter, authorised by the assembly of divines, this version was substantially the work of Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling.

[ocr errors][merged small]

whether attended or not with a latent resolution afterwards to innovate in both. On afterthought, however, with the pen in his hand, he could not resist the impulse towards what artists call “ touching up." Sentences here and there, capable by a word or two of approaching his criterion, made a temptation not to be resisted. Where the manuscript breaks in upon the print, the innovations protrude to the eye with peculiar force and distinctness. There are, for instance, the deep black scores drawn through the modifying announcement of a commemorative spirit in the imparting of the elements. Then the eye is at once arrested at the suggestive addition, to be presently mentioned, of the word “ corporal.” It was maintained by the hostile critics of the Service-book that its offensive variations from the English Prayer-book betrayed their character by their origin — they could be traced to the Romish Breviary. But this, though it might serve for popular purposes, could not avail among adepts. The Breviary was the great storehouse whence all the Protestant communities took their devotional literature. The English Prayer-book and the Scots Book of Common Order were already supplied from it. It was not sufficient, then, for the condemnation of the new passages, that they were common to the Service-book and to the Breviarythe words used must be dealt with on their own merits. When, however, it was asserted that the novelties were supplied from the Missal or Mass-book, the charge was more alarming. Apart from portions of the Eucharistic

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

1 In this controversy the two books are often confounded, or used as two names for the same thing. With some zealous Protestants it appears to be deemed discreditable to be too accurately informed about the creeds and ceremonies which prevailed for some hundreds of years in Christian Europe. Knowing much about Popery is like showing too intimate an acquaintance with the interior of houses of evil repute. Among the charges against Laud one was that he possessed Popish books. To this, at all events, he had a conclusive answer-How could he do his duty as a Protestant minister in refuting the errors of Popery unless he knew what they were ?

It has been noted by accomplished critics, that on some points the injunctions traced to Laud's hand partake more of the usages of the Eastern than of the Roman Church. This might weigh somewhat

ted in the

Dok ther3


illian Lolita

service taken directly from Scripture, those more characteristic portions relating to the ceremonies and doctrines connected with the elements were not treated in the same manner in the two countries. In Scotland they were abjured as polluted by the idolatry of the deification of the elements, and they had no place in the Book of Common Order. In England such portions as were deemed wholesome were selected and embodied in the Book of Common Prayer. But that such an attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff was a work of nicety and difficulty, came out expressively when additions had to be made to some passages in the Prayer-book, to secure Protestant orthodoxy at the sacrifice of logic and symmetry.

Hence it came that the most flagrant instance where the new Service-book departed from the text of the English

against a charge that Laud desired to bring Britain under the spiritual dominion of the Popedom. It was in what is now called ritualism, and was then called idolatry, that the offence láy; and if Laud found any of that commodity more to his own mind in Greek usages, his opponents would yet naturally attribute the whole to the common enemy Rome.

1 Laud, in his defence, said: “It was urged at the bar that a prayer which I used was like one that is in the Pontifical. So in the Missal are many prayers like unto the collects used in our English Liturgy-so like that some are the very same, translated only into English ; and yet these confirmed by law. And for that of Psalm xcv. 6, Venite procidamus, &c., then also excepted against, that hath been of very ancient use in the liturgies of the Church, from which rejecimus paleam, numquid et grana ?' We have separated the chaff -shall we cast away the corn too?”-State Trials, iv. 487.

The apology for the entire rejection of the ceremonies may be found in the Huguenot book, though this was not transferred with the more essential parts of the Geneva Service to the Scots Book of Common Order :

“Nous savons bien quelle occasion de scandale plusieurs ont pris du changement que nous avons faite en cest endroit. Car pource que la messe a esté longtemps en telle estime, q'il sembloit advis au pour monde que ce fust le principal poinct de la Christienté c'a esté une chose bien estrange que nos l'ayon abolie.

Et pour ceste cause, ceux qui ne sont pas deuement advertis, estiment que nous ayons destruit le Sacrement; mais quand on aura bien consideré ce que nous tenons, on trouvera que nous l'avons restitué en son entier" (that is, to the practices of the primitive Church). -Edit. 1576, p. 25.

« AnteriorContinuar »