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pal Church-purely republican. This is easily seen, and may be made evident and satisfactory to all. And if this is the genius of our institutions and the spirit of the country, it harmonizes perfectly with the age, the will of the people, and the character of their civil government. Order in religion, since the people must have a religion, and since it is of all things most desirable and most important, is as necessary as in civil society; and hence it is impossible to dispense with a religious, or spiritual polity. And a polity, that harmonizes with the spirit of the people and the genius of their government, cannot fail to be satisfactory. Whatever else they may be dissatisfied with, they cannot complain of this ; whatever else they may fall back from, they must have a basis somewhere, and they can hardly fall back farther than their own will, as usually expressed. It has ever been found, and doubtless will always prove so, that it is as impossible to accomplish the great objects of religion without a social organization, as it is to attain the objects of a civil government without it. The latter would be a contradiction in terms; but there is nothing in which public sympathy operates so powerfully as in religion; and the more powerful the religious propensity may be in its social character, the more does' it require a salutary direction and control. Religion without government runs into fanaticism-into chaos—in the same manner, as the ordinary state of society would be dissolved into anarchy without civil order. For myself, I have no concern, that the effect of my argument, if it should prevail, would be to react upon the Episcopal system, where it exists in its proper form, to dissolve and bring it to the ground. The more severely this system is subjected to scrutiny, the brighter will it shine, and the more will it commend itself to the respect and estimation of the public,
Consideration of objections to the Liturgy, and to other forms and
'modes of Episcopal worship.
Tue forms and modes of public worship in the Episcopal Church are no part of Episcopacy in itself considered, as a polity and government. They are properly accidents in such a relation. That is, there is nothing in Episcopacy, that necessarily demands them.
Although the Liturgy of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States is in all fairness to be judged by its simple merits, yet in entering on this subject it will probably be deemed pertinent, so far as we have space, and may also be gratifying to the curious, as well as useful to the inquiring, to introduce this chapter by a brief retrospective and historical view of the Liturgies of the Hebrew and Christian Churches—and more especially of the Liturgy, the consideration of which is more particularly before us.
It is a remarkable fact, that the first occasion of public worship, to which the children of Israel were summoned after they had crossed the Red Sea, was celebrated by singing or chanting a piece of Liturgical composition, in which all the people joined in alternate ranks, or choirs : “ Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying—I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously,” &c. Ex. xv. 1-19. That this is one of the sublimest and most beautiful specimens of devotional composition, ever written, I need not say. It was suited to the occasion, itself most sublime, awful, triumphant. When the more public worship of the assembled people was over, “ Miriam and all the women” took up the same anthem “with timbrels and in dances."
The writings of Moses generally were made a public ritual ; and it will be observed, that they are frequently interspersed with a specific and imperative injunction, that they should be read to all the people. Occasionally we have prescribed forms for the different parts of public service, of the nature of daily and other occasional consecrations of the people, sacred vessels, &c.; responses, benedictions, with a multitude of other offices; of which the following are a few specimens: For the expiation of uncertain murder, it is ordered, first, that the priests and sons of Levi should be in attendance ; next, that “the elders of the city, nearest unto the slain man, 'shall wash their hands over à heifer,” beheaded in the place of murder; and they, the elders, representatives of the people, "shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it.
Be merciful, O Lord, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people Israel's charge.” This was a prescribed ceremony and form for such a case. Deut. xxi. 5-8. “In this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them: The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; the Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” Num. vi. 23–26. " And it came to pass, when the Ark set forward, that Moses said (was accustomed to say,) Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered ; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel.” Num. X. 35-36. The 26th chapter of Deuteronomy is an interesting specimen of a prescribed Liturgical service, ceremonial, responsive, declarative of covenant engagements, &c. And numerous other portions of the writings of Moses are composed into .prescript forms, adapted to occasions, and allotted to persons, people, and priests, according to the parts respectively assigned to each. David appointed the Levites “ to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at even. 1 Chron. xxiii. 30. Which is evidently a morning and evening public service-or
prayers. The Temple service ordered and established by Solomon was minute and circumstantial in its prescribed Liturgical assignments; and also as restored by Nehemiah after the captivity, which he says, was all done “ according to the commandment of David and Solomon his son.” Neh. xii. The Psalms, as seems to be universally conceded, are nearly all Liturgical, variously assigned to the priests, people, and choir. In short, it may be said, that the Hebrew ritual, in process of time, grew up into a comprehensive system for common and for all special occasions, specifically and minutely divided into separate parts for all and for each. And what is specially worthy of notice is, that there was Divine authority for it, if we are to respect the ordinances of Moses, as worthy to claim this high character. The same may be said of the Psalms, and the order of public worship, which these inspired compositions prescribed. So also of many other parts of the Old Testament, which were evidently designed for Liturgical use. Frequently, we find such notices as the following: “ Then on that day David delivered forth this Psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren -Give thanks, &c.” i Chron. xvi. 7. See also Ps.
“ Moreover Hezekiah, the king, and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord with the words -of David and Asaph the 'seer,” &c. 2. Chron. xxix. 30. 66 So the service of the house of the Lord was set in order." Ib. 35. “ They set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord after the ordinances of David. And they sang together by course,” &c. Ezra iii. 10-11. “ And Moses wrote this law, (meaning his writings comprehensively) and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, and unto all the elders of Israel. And Moses commanded them, &c. .... Thou shalt read this law before all Israel, in their hearing. Gather the people together, men, women, and children, and the stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, that they may learn, and fear the Lord your
God, and observe to do all the words of this law." Deut. Xxxi. 9-12.
It is evident, therefore, that the Hebrews, and afterward the Jews—the latter being the name of the remnant, after the ten tribes disappeared—had a Liturgy on a most extensive scale, and that in the sense of prescribed forms of public worship. Every part of this service seems to have been prescribed, and the manner thereof.
When our Saviour appeared, he found the Jews in the possession and use of a public ritual. I think I am warranted to assume, that this point will not be disputed. It is abundantly proved by the concurrent authorities of Josephus, Scaliger, Buxtorf, Selden and others. Hammond and Lightfoot, of later time, have clearly shown, not only, that the Jewish Liturgy prescribed the forms of prayer and praise, but they have been able to determine the order and method of their hymns and supplications. It is evident that our Saviour conformed to that ritual, including all established orders of public worship, inasmuch as no notice occurs of a complaint brought against him for departing from it, or in any way treating it with disrespect. This would have been a material and grave charge, and would have been seized upon with avidity and 'determination, if any overt acts or neglect of his had laid him open. It would have occa. sioned such a clamour, and led to such results, as could not have been passed over by such fidelity of history, as is known and believed to have characterized the Evangelists. This total silence, therefore, is tantamount to a positive statement of the fact, so necessarily involved.
Hence we account most satisfactorily—and so far as I can see in no other possible way—for the exceeding and scrupulous paucity of any new and peculiar religious services introduced by our Saviour. He lived under the Jewish dispensation, and conformed to it. All agree in this last position. And that conformity must have included a submission to the forms and orders of public worship.
The prayers of “the hypocrites,” “standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets,” which our