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´╗┐Title: A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer
Author: Huntington, William Reed, 1838-1909
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer" ***

[Transcriber's Note: The footnotes have been numbered and moved to
the end of the document.]

The Internet Archive/American Libraries.






_Rector of Grace Church New York_


2 and 3 Bible House

Copyright, 1893,





I. A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer:

I. Origins,

II. Vicissitudes,

II. Revision of the American Common Prayer,

III. _The Book Annexed_: Its Critics and its Prospects,


I. Permanent and Variable Characteristics of the Prayer Book--A
Sermon Before Revision, 1878

II. The Outcome of Revision, 1892

III. Tabular View of Additions Made at the Successive Revisions,


The opening paper of this collection was originally read as a
lecture before a liturgical class, and is now published for the
first time. The others have appeared in print from time to time
during the movement for revision. If they have any permanent
value, it is because of their showing, so far as the writer's part
in the matter is concerned, what things were attempted and what
things failed of accomplishment. Should they serve as contributory
to some future narrative of the revision, the object of their
publication will have been accomplished. So much has been said as
to the poverty of our gains on the side of "enrichment," as
compared with what has been secured in the line of "flexibility,"
that it has seemed proper to append to the volume a Comparative
Table detailing the additions of liturgical matter made to the
Common Prayer at the successive revisions.

W. R. H. New York, Christmas, 1892.




Liturgical worship, understood in the largest sense the phrase can
bear, means divine service rendered in accordance with an established
form. Of late years there has been an attempt made among purists to
confine the word "liturgy" to the office entitled in the Prayer
Book, _The Order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper or
Holy Communion_.

This restricted and specialized interpretation of a familiar word
may serve the purposes of technical scholarship, for undoubtedly
there is much to be said in favor of the narrowed signification as
we shall see; but unless English literature can be rewritten, plain
people who draw their vocabulary from standard authors will go on
calling service-books "liturgies" regardless of the fact that they
contain many things other than that one office which is entitled
to be named by eminence _the_ Liturgy. "This Convention," write the
fathers of the American Episcopal Church in the Ratification printed
on the fourth page of the Prayer Book, "having in their present
session set forth a Book of Common Prayer and other rites and
ceremonies of the Church, do hereby establish the said book; and
they declare it to be the _Liturgy_ of this Church."

For the origin of liturgy thus broadly defined we have to go a long
way back; beyond the Prayer Book, beyond the Mass-book, beyond the
ancient Sacramentaries, yes, beyond the synagogue worship, beyond
the temple worship, beyond the tabernacle worship; in fact I am
disposed to think that, logically, we should be unable to stop
short until we had reached the very heart of man itself, that
dimly discerned groundwork we call human nature, and had discovered
there those two instincts, the one of worship and the other of
gregariousness, from whence all forms of common prayer have sprung.
Where three or two assemble for the purposes of supplication, some
form must necessarily be accepted if they are to pray in unison.
When the disciples came to Jesus begging him that he would teach
them how to pray, he gave them, not twelve several forms, though
doubtless James's special needs differed from John's and Simon's
from Jude's--he gave them, not twelve, but one. "When ye pray,"
was his answer, "say Our Father." That was the beginning of
Christian Common Prayer. Because we are men we worship, because
we are fellow-men our worship must have form.

But waiving this last analysis of all which carries us across the
whole field of history at a leap, it becomes necessary to seek
for liturgical beginnings by a more plodding process.

If we take that manual of worship with which as English-speaking
Christians we are ourselves the most familiar, the Book of Common
Prayer, and allow it to fall naturally apart, as a bunch of
flowers would do if the string were cut, we discover that in
point of fact we have, as in the case of the Bible, many books
in one. We have scarcely turned the title-page, for instance,
before we come upon a ritual of daily worship, an order for
Morning Prayer and an order for Evening Prayer, consisting in
the main of Psalms, Scripture Lessons, Antiphonal Versicles,
and Collects. Appended to this we find a Litany or General
Supplication and a collection of special prayers.

Mark an interval here, and note that we have completed the first
volume of our liturgical library. Next, we have a sacramental
ritual, entitled, _The Order for the Administration of the Lord's
Supper or Holy Communion_, ingeniously interwoven by a system of
appropriate prayers and New Testament readings with the Sundays
and holydays of the year. This gives us our second volume.
Then follow numerous offices which we shall find it convenient
to classify under two heads, namely: those which may be said by
a bishop or by a presbyter, and those that may be said by a
bishop only. Under the former head come the baptismal offices,
the Order for the Burial of the Dead, and the like; under the
latter, the services of Ordination and Confirmation and the Form
of Consecration of a Church or Chapel.

In the Church of England as it existed before the Reformation,
these four volumes, as I have called them, were distinct and
recognized realities. Each had its title and each its separate
use. The name of the book of daily services was _The Breviary_.
The name of the book used in the celebration of the Holy Communion
was _The Missal_. The name of the book of Special Offices was
_The Ritual_. The name of the book of such offices as could be
used by a bishop only was _The Pontifical_. It was one of the
greatest of the achievements of the English reformers that they
succeeded in condensing, after a practical fashion, these four
books, or, to speak more accurately, the first three of them,
Breviary, Missal, and Ritual, into one. The Pontifical, or
Ordinal, they continued as a separate book, although it soon for
the sake of convenience became customary in England, as it has
always been customary here, for Prayer Book and Ordinal to be
stitched together by the binders into a single volume. Popularly
speaking the Prayer Book is the entire volume one purchases under
that name from the bookseller, but accurately speaking the Book
of Common Prayer ends where _The Form and Manner of Making,
Ordaining, and Consecrating Bishops, Priests, and Deacons_
begins. "Finis" should be written after the Psalter, as indeed
from the Prayer Book's Table of Contents plainly appears.

Setting aside now, for the present, that portion of the formularies
which corresponds to the Ritual and Pontifical of the mediaeval
Church, I proceed to speak rapidly of the antecedents of Breviary
and Missal. Whence came they? And how are we to account for
their being sundered so distinctly as they are?

They came, so some of the most thoughtful of liturgical students
are agreed, from a source no less remote than the Temple of
Solomon, and they are severed, to speak figuratively, by a valley
not unlike that which in our thoughts divides the Mount of
Beatitudes from the Hill of Calvary.

In that memorable building to which reference was just made,
influential over the destinies of our race as no other house of
man's making ever was, there went on from day to day these two
things, psalmody and sacrifice. Peace-offering, burnt-offering,
sin-offering, the morning oblation, and the evening oblation--these
with other ceremonies of a like character went to make what we
know as the sacrificial ritual of the temple.

But this was not all. It would appear that there were other
services in the temple over and above those that could strictly
be called sacrificial. The Hebrew Psalter, the hymn-book of that
early day, contains much that was evidently intended by the
writers for temple use, and even more that could be easily
adapted to such use. And although there is no direct evidence
that in Solomon's time forms of prayer other than those associated
with sacrificial rites were in use, yet when we find mention in
the New Testament of people going up to the temple of those later
days "at the hour of prayer," it seems reasonable to infer that
the custom was an ancient one, and that from the beginning of the
temple's history forms of worship not strictly speaking sacrificial
had been a stated feature of the ritual. But whether in the temple
or not, certainly in the synagogues, which after the return from
the captivity sprang up all over the Jewish world, services
composed of prayers, of psalms, and of readings from the law and
the prophets were of continual occurrence. Therefore we may safely
say that with these two forms of divine service, the sacrificial
and the simply devotional and didactic, the apostles, the founders
of the Christian Church, had been familiar from their childhood.
They were at home in both synagogue and temple. They knew by sight
the ritual of the altar, and by ear the ritual of the choir. They
were accustomed to the spectacle of the priest offering the victim;
they were used to hearing the singers chant the psalms.

We see thus why it is that the public worship of the Church should
have come down to us in two great lines, why there should be a
tradition of eucharistic worship and, parallel to this, a tradition
of daily prayer; for as the one usage links itself, in a sense,
to the sacrificial system of God's ancient people and has in it a
suggestion of the temple worship, so the other seems to show a
continuity with what went on in those less pretentious sanctuaries
which had place in all the cities and villages of Judea, and indeed
wherever, throughout the Roman world, Jewish colonists were to be
found. The earliest Christian disciples having been themselves
Hebrews, nothing could have been more natural than their moulding
the worship of the new Church in general accordance with the
models that had stood before their eyes from childhood in the
old. The Psalms were sung in the synagogues according to a settled
principle. We cannot wonder, then, that the Psalter should have
continued to be what in fact it had always been, the hymn-book of
the Church. Moreover, they had in the synagogue besides their
psalmody a system of Bible readings, confined, of course, to the
Old Testament Scriptures. This is noted in the observation that
fell from Simon Peter, at the first Council of the Church, "Moses
of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in
the synagogue every Sabbath day." Scripture lessons, therefore,
would be no novelty.

We gather also from the New Testament, not to speak of other
authorities, that in the apostolic days people were familiar with
what were known as "hours of prayer." There were particular times
in the day, that is to say, which were held to be especially
appropriate for worship. "Peter and John went up together into
the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour." Again,
at Joppa, we find the former of these two apostles going up upon
the house-top to pray at "the sixth hour." Long before this David
had mentioned morning and evening and noon as fitting hours of
prayer, and one psalmist, in his enthusiasm, had even gone so far
as to declare seven times a day to be not too often for giving
God thanks. There was also the precedent of Daniel opening his
windows toward Jerusalem three times a day. As the love for order
and system grew year by year stronger in the Christian Church,
the laws that govern ritual would be likely to become more
stringent, and so very probably it came to pass. For aught we
know to the contrary, the observance of fixed hours of prayer
was a matter of voluntary action with the Christians of the first
age. There was, as we say, no "shall" about it. But when the
founders of the monastic orders came upon the scene a fixed rule
took the place of simple custom, and what had been optional
became mandatory. By the time we reach the mediaeval period
evolution has had its perfect work, and we find in existence
a scheme of daily service curiously and painfully elaborate.
The mediaeval theologians were very fond of classifying things
by sevens. In the symbolism of Holy Scripture seven appears as
the number of perfection, it being the aggregate of three, the
number of Deity, and four, the number of the earth. Accordingly
we find in the theology of those times seven sacraments, seven
deadly sins, seven contrary virtues, seven works of mercy, and
also seven hours of prayer. These seven hours were known as
Matins, Prime, Tierce, Sext, Nones, Vespers, and Complene. The
theory of the hours of prayer was that at each one of them a
special office of devotion was to be said. Beginning before
sunrise with matins there was to be daily a round of services at
stated intervals culminating at bedtime in that which, as its
name indicated, filled out the series, Complene. To what extent
this ideal scheme of devotion was ever carried out in practice it
is difficult positively to say.

Probably in the monastic and conventual life of the severer orders
there was an approximation to a punctual observance of the hours
as they successively arrived. Possibly the modern mind fails to
do full justice to the conception of worship on which this system
was based. Those principles of devotion of which the rosary is the
visible symbol do not easily commend themselves to us. They have
about them a suggestion of mechanism. They remind us of the
Buddhist praying wheel, and seem to put the Church in the attitude
of expecting to be heard for her "much speaking."

Doubtless many a pure, courageous spirit fought the good fight
of faith successfully in spite of all this weight of outward
observances; but in the judgment of the wiser heads among English
churchmen, the time had come, by the middle of the sixteenth
century, when this complicated armor must either be greatly
lightened or else run the risk of being cast aside altogether.
Let Cranmer tell his own story. This is what he says in the
Preface to the First Book of Edward VI. as to the ritual grievances
of the times. The passage is worth listening to if only for the
quaintness of its strong and wholesome English:

"There was never anything by the wit of man so well devised or so
surely established which, in continuance of time, hath not been
corrupted, as, among other things, it may plainly appear by the
common prayer, in the Church, commonly called divine service. The
first original and ground whereof, if a man would search out by
the ancient fathers, he shall find that the same was not ordained
but of a good purpose, and for a great advancement of godliness, for
they so ordered the matter that all the whole Bible, or the greatest
part thereof, should be read over once in the year . . . But these
many years past this godly and decent order of the ancient fathers
hath been so altered, broken, and neglected by planting in
uncertain stories, legends, responds, verses, vain repetitions,
commemorations, and synodals that commonly, when any book of the
Bible was begun, before three or four chapters were read out all
the rest were unread. And in this sort the Book of Esaie was begun
in Advent, and the Book of Genesis in Septuagesima, but they were
only begun and never read through . . . And moreover, whereas St.
Paul would have such language spoken to the people in the Church
as they might understand and have profit by hearing the same, the
service in this Church of England (these many years) hath been
read in Latin to the people, which they understood not, so that
they have heard with their ears only, and their hearts, spirit,
and mind have not been edified thereby . . . Moreover, the number
and hardness of the rules called the Pie, and the manifold
changings of the service was the cause that to turn the Book
only was so hard and intricate a matter that many times there was
more business to find out what should be read than it was to read
it when it was found out. These inconveniences therefore considered,
here is set forth such an order whereby the same shall be

As an illustration of what Cranmer meant by his curious phrase,
"planting in uncertain stories," take the following Lessons quoted
by Dr. Neale in his _Essays on Liturgiology_:

"Besides the commemoration of saints," writes this distinguished
antiquarian, "there are in certain local calenders notices of
national events connected with the well-being of the Church. Thus,
in the _Parisian Breviary_, we have on the eighteenth of August a
commemoration of the victory of Philip the Fair in Flanders, A.D.
1304." Here is the fourth of the appointed lessons: "Philip the
Fair, King of the French, in the year 1304, about the feast of St.
Mary Magdalene, having set forth with his brothers Charles and
Louis and a large army into Flanders, pitched his tent near Mons,
where was a camp of the rebel Flemings. But when, on the eighteenth
of August, which was the Tuesday after the Assumption of St. Mary,
the French had from morning till evening stood on the defence, and
were resting themselves at nightfall, the enemy, by a sudden
attack, rushed on the camp with such fury that the body-guard had
scarce time to defend him.

"_Response_. Come from Lebanon, my spouse; come, and thou shalt be
crowned, The odor of thy sweet ointments is above all perfumes.
_Versicle_. The righteous judge shall give a crown of righteousness."

Then, after this short interlude of snatches from Holy Scripture,
there follows the Fifth Lesson: "At the beginning of the fight the
life of the king was in great danger, but shortly after, his
troops crowding together from all quarters to his tent, where the
battle was sharpest, obtained an illustrious victory over the
enemy"--and more of this sort until all of a sudden we come upon
the Song of Solomon again. "_V_. Thou art all fair, my love; come
from Lebanon. _R_. They that have not defiled their garments,
they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy."

Is not Cranmer's contemptuous mention of these uncertain legends
and vain repetitions amply justified? And can we be too thankful
to the sturdy champions of the Reformation, who in the face of no
little opposition and by efforts scarcely appreciated to-day, cut
us loose from all responsibility for such solemn nonsense?

There are some who feel aggrieved that chapters from the Apocrypha
should have found admission to our new lectionary, and there are
even those who think that of the canonical Scriptures, passages
more edifying than certain of those appointed to be read might
have been chosen, but what would they think if they were compelled
to hear the minister at the lecturn say: "Here beginneth the first
chapter of the Adventures of Philip the Fair"?

But the reformers, happily, were not discouraged by the portentous
front of wood, hay, and stubble which the liturgical edifice of
their day presented to the eye. They felt convinced that there
were also to be found mixed in with the building material gold,
silver, and precious stones, and for these they determined to make
diligent search, resolved most of all that the foundation laid
should be Jesus Christ. This system of canonical hours, they
argued, this seven-fold office of daily prayer is all very
beautiful in theory, but it never can be made what in fact it
never in the past has been, a practicable thing. Let us be content
if we can do so much as win people to their devotions at morning
and at night. With this object in view Cranmer and his associates
subjected the services of the hours to a process of combination
and condensation. The Offices for the first three hours they
compressed into _An Order for Daily Morning Prayer_, or, as it was
called in Edward's first Book, _An Order for Matins_, and the
Offices for the last two hours, namely, Vespers and Complene,
they made over into _An Order for Daily Evening Prayer_, or, as
it was named in Edward's first Book, _An Order for Evensong_.

These two formularies, the _Order for Matins_ and the _Order for
Evensong_, make the core and substance of our present daily
offices. But the tradition of daily prayer is only one of the
two great devotional heritages of the Church. With the destruction
of the temple by the Roman soldiery, the sacrificial ritual of
the Jewish Church came to a sudden end; but it was not God's
purpose that the memory of sacrifice should fade out of men's
minds or that the thought of sacrifice should be banished from
the field of worship. Years before the day when the legionaries
of Titus marched amid flame and smoke, into the falling sanctuary
of an out-worn faith, one who was presently to die upon a cross
had taken bread, had blessed it and broken it, and giving it to
certain followers gathered about him, had said, "Take, eat; this
is my body, which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me."
Likewise also he had taken the cup after supper, saying, "This cup
is the New Testament in my blood which is shed for you."

Certainly there must be a relation of cause and effect between this
scene and the fact, which is a fact, that the most ancient
fragments of primitive Christian worship now discoverable are
forms for the due commemoration of the sacrifice of the death of

These venerable monuments seem to exclaim as we decipher them:
"Even so, Lord, it is done as thou didst say." "Thy name, O Lord,
endureth forever and so doth thy memorial from generation to
generation." Of the references to Christian worship discoverable
in documents later than the New Testament Scriptures there are
three that stand out with peculiar prominence, namely, the lately
discovered _Teaching of the Twelve Apostles_, placed by some
authorities as early as the first half of the second century;
the famous letter of Pliny to the Emperor Trajan, a writing of
the same period; and the Apology or Defence addressed by Justin
Martyr to Antoninus Pius about the year 140 after Christ. The
noteworthy fact in connection with these passages is that of the
three, two certainly, and probably the third also, refer directly
to the Holy Communion. In the _Teaching_ we have a distinct sketch
of a eucharistic service with three of the prescribed prayers
apparently given in full. In Justin Martyr's account, the evidence
of a definitely established liturgical form is perhaps less plain,
but nothing that he says would appear to be irreconcilable with
the existence of a more or less elastic ritual order. Whether he
does or does not intend to describe extemporaneous prayer as
forming one feature of the eucharistic worship of the Christians
of his time depends upon the translation we give to a single word
in his narrative. Later on in the life of the Church, though by
just how much later is a difficult point of scholarship, we are
brought in contact with a number of formularies, all of them
framed for the uses of eucharistical worship, all of them, that
is to say, designed to perpetuate the commandment, "This do in
remembrance of me," and all of them preserving, no matter in what
part of the world they may be found, a certain structural
uniformity. These are the primitive liturgies, as they are
called, the study of which has in late years attained almost to
the dignity of a science. As to the exact measure of antiquity
that ought to be accorded to these venerable documents the
authorities differ and probably will always differ. Dr. Neale's
enthusiasm carried him so far that he was persuaded and sought
to persuade others of the existence of liturgical quotations in
the writings of St. Paul. This hypothesis is at the present time
generally rejected by sober-minded scholars. Perhaps "the personal
equation" enters equally into the conclusions of those who assign
a very late origin to the liturgies, pushing them along as far as
the sixth or seventh century. If one happens to have a rooted
dislike for prescribed forms of worship, and believes them in his
heart to be both unscriptural and unspiritual, it will be the
most natural thing in the world for him to disparage whatever
evidence makes in favor of the early origin of liturgies. Hammond
is sensible when he says in the Preface to his valuable work
entitled _Liturgies Eastern and Western_, "I have assumed an
intermediate position between the views of those on the one hand
who hold that the liturgies had assumed a recognized and fixed
form so early as to be quoted in the Epistles to the Corinthians
and Hebrews . . . and of those, on the other, who because there are
some palpable interpolations and marks of comparatively late date
in some of the texts, assert broadly that they are all untrustworthy
and valueless as evidence. This view I venture to think," he adds,
"equally uncritical and groundless with the former."

To sum up, the argument in behalf of an apostolic origin for the
Christian Liturgy may be compactly stated thus: The very earliest
monuments of Christian worship that we possess are rituals of
thanksgiving, having direct reference to the sacrifice of the
death of Christ. Going back from these to the New Testament we
find there the narrative of the institution of the Holy Communion
by Christ himself, and in connection with it the command, "This
do in remembrance of me." It is, I submit, a reasonable inference
that the liturgies in the main fairly represent what it was in
the mind of the apostle to recognize and establish as proper
Christian worship. I do not call it demonstration, I call it
reasonable inference. There is a striking parallelism between the
argument for liturgical worship and the argument for episcopacy.
In both cases we take the ground that continuity existed between
the life of the Church as we find it a hundred years after the
last of the apostles had gone to his rest and the life of the
Church as it is pictured in the New Testament.

That there were many changes during the interval must no doubt be
granted, but we say that if those changes were serious ones
affecting great principles of belief or order, those who maintain
that such a hidden revolution took place are bound to bring
positive evidence to the fact. This history of the Church during
the second century has been likened with more of ingenuity than
of poetical beauty to the passing of a train through a railway

We see the train enter, we see it emerge, but its movement while
inside the tunnel is concealed from us. Similarly we may say that
we see with comparative distinctness the Christian Church of the
Apostolic Age, and we see with comparative distinctness the Church
of the Age of Cyprian and Origen, but with respect to the interval
separating the two periods we are not indeed wholly, but, we are,
it must be confessed, very largely ignorant. And yet as in the
case of the tunnel we confidently affirm an identity between what
we saw go in and what we see coming out, so with the doctrine,
discipline, and worship of the Church, the usages of the third
century, we argue, are probably in their leading features what the
usages of the first century were. If reason to the contrary can
be given, well and good; but in the absence of countervailing
testimony we abide by our inference, holding it to be sound.

I am far from wishing to maintain that these considerations bind
liturgical worship upon the Christian Church as a matter of
obligation for all time. It might be argued, and I think with
great force, that liturgical worship having been universal
throughout the ancient world, heathen as well as Jewish, the
apostles and fathers of the Christian Church judged it unwise
to make any departure at the outset from a custom so invariable,
trusting it to the spirit of the new religion to work out freer and
less formal methods of approaching God through Christ in the times
to come. This, I confess, strikes me as a perfectly legitimate line
of reasoning and one which is strengthened rather than weakened by
what we have seen happen in Christendom since the sixteenth
century. Great bodies of Christians have for a period of some
three hundred years been worshipping Almighty God in non-liturgical
ways, and have not been left without witness that their service
was acceptable to the Divine Majesty. Moreover, the fact that
absolute rigidity in liturgical use never was insisted upon in
any age of the Church until the English passed their Act of
Uniformity, makes in the same direction. And yet even after these
allowances have been made, there remains a considerable amount
of solid satisfaction for those who do adhere to the liturgical
method, in the thought that they are in the line which is apparently
the line of continuity, and that their interpretation of the
apostolic purpose with respect to worship is the interpretation
that has been generally received in Christendom as far back as we
can go.



Certain of the necromancers of the far East are said to have the
power of causing a tree to spring up, spread its branches, blossom,
and bear fruit before the eyes of the lookers-on within the space
of a few moments.

Modern liturgies have sometimes been brought into being by a process
as extemporaneous as this, but not such was the genesis of the
Book of Common Prayer.

There are at least eight forms under which the Prayer Book has
been from time to time authoritatively set forth--five English,
one Scottish, one Irish, and one American; so that, if we would
be accurate, we are bound to specify, when we speak of "The Prayer
Book," which of several Prayer Books we have in mind.

The truth is, there exists in connection with everything that grows,
whether it be plant, animal, or building, a certain mystery like
that which attaches to what, in the case of a man, we call personal
identity. Which is the true, the actual Napoleon? Is it the
Napoleon of the Directory, or the Napoleon of the Consulate, or the
Napoleon of the Empire? At each epoch we discern a different phase
of the man's character, and yet we are compelled to acknowledge,
in the face of all the variations, that we have to do with one and
the same man.

But just as a ship acquires, as we may say, her personal identity
when she is launched and named, even though there may be a great
deal yet to be done in the way of finishing and furnishing before
she can be pronounced seaworthy, so it is with a book that is
destined to undergo repeated revision and reconstruction, it does
acquire, on the day when it is first published, and first given a
distinctive title, a certain character the losing of which would be
the loss of personal identity. There is many an old cathedral that
might properly enough be called a re-edited book in stone. Norman
architecture, Early English, Decorated, and Perpendicular, all are
there, and yet one dominant thought pervades the building.
Notwithstanding the many times it has been retouched, the fabric
still expresses to the eye the original creative purpose of the
designer; there is no possibility of our mistaking Salisbury for
York or Peterborough for London.

The first Book of Common Prayer was built up of blocks that for the
most part had been previously used in other buildings, but the
resulting structure exhibited, from the very moment it received a
name, such distinct and unmistakable characteristics as have
guaranteed it personal identity through more than three hundred
years. Hence, while it is in one sense true that there are no
fewer than eight Books of Common Prayer, it is in another sense
equally true that the Book of Common Prayer is one.

An identity of purpose, of scope, and of spirit shows itself
in all its various forms under which the book exists, so that
whether we are speaking of the First Prayer Book of King Edward
the Sixth, or of the book adopted by the Church of Ireland after
its disestablishment, or of the American Book of Common Prayer,
what we have in mind is, in a very real and deep sense, one and
the same thing.

Let us proceed now to a rapid survey of the facts connected with
the first issue of the Common Prayer.

For a period long anterior to the Reformation there had been in
use among the English brief books of devotion known as "primers,"
written in the language of the people. The fact that the public
services of the Church were invariably conducted in the Latin
tongue made a resort to such expedients as this necessary, unless
religion was to be reserved as the private property of ecclesiastics.

By a curious process of evolution the primer, from having been
in mediaeval times a book wholly religious and devotional, has
come to be in our day a book wholly secular and educational. We
associate it with Noah Webster and the Harper Brothers. The New
England Primer of the Puritans, with its odd jumble of piety and
the three R's, marks a point of transition from the ancient to the
modern type.

But this by the way. The primer we are now concerned with is the
devotional primer of the times just previous to the Reformation.
This, as a rule, contained prayers, the Belief, the Ave Maria, a
litany of some sort, the Ten Commandments, and whatever else there
might be that in the mind of the compiler came under the head of
"things which a Christian ought to know." There were three of
these primers set forth during the reign of Henry the Eighth, one
in 1535, one in 1539, and one in 1545. During the space that
intervened between the publication of the second and that of the
third of these primers, appeared "The Litany and Suffrages," a
formulary compiled, as is generally believed, by Cranmer, the then
Archbishop of Canterbury, and in substance identical with the Litany
we use to-day. This Litany of 1544 has been properly described as
"the precursor and first instalment of the English Book of Common
Prayer." It was the nucleus or centre of crystallization about
which the other constituent portions of our manual of worship
were destined to be grouped. A quaint exhortation was prefixed to
this Litany, in which it was said to have been set forth "because
the not understanding the prayers and suffrages formerly used
caused that the people came but slackly to the processions."
Besides the primers and the Litany, there were printed in Henry's
reign various editions of a book of Epistles and Gospels in English.
There was also published a Psalter in Latin and English.

All this looked rather to the edification of individual Christians
in their private devotional life than to the public worship of the
Church, but we are not to suppose that meanwhile the larger
interests of the whole body were forgotten. So early as in the
year 1542, Convocation, which according to the Anglican theory
stands toward the Church in the same attitude that Parliament holds
to the State, appointed a Committee of Eight to review and correct
the existing service-books. We know very little as to the proceedings
of this committee, but that something was done, and a real impulse
given to liturgical revision, is evidenced by the fact that at a
meeting of Convocation held soon after King Henry's death a
resolution prevailed "That the books of the Bishops and others who
by the command of the Convocation have labored in examining,
reforming, and publishing the divine service, may be produced
and laid before the examination of this house."

The next important step in the process we are studying was the
publication by authority in the early spring of 1548, of an Order
of the Communion, as it was called, a formulary prepared by Cranmer
to enable the priest, after having consecrated the elements in
the usual manner, to distribute them to the people with the
sentences of delivery spoken in English. The priest, that is to
say, was to proceed with the service of the Mass as usual in the
Latin tongue, but after he had himself received the bread and
the wine, he was to proceed to a service of Communion for the
people in a speech they could understand.

Almost everything in this tentative document, as we may call it,
was subsequently incorporated in the Office of the Holy Communion
as we are using it to-day.

We have, then, as an abiding result of the liturgical experiments
made in anticipation of the actual setting forth of an authoritative
Prayer Book, the Litany and this Order of the Communion.

The time was now ripe for something better and more complete; a
new king was upon the throne, and one whose counsellors were
better disposed toward change than ever Henry had been. The great
movement we know under the name of the Reformation touched the
life of the Christian Church in every one of its three great
departments--doctrine, discipline, and worship. In Henry's mind,
however, the question appears to have been almost exclusively one
of discipline or polity. His quarrel was not with the accepted
theological errors of his day, for as Defender of the Faith he
covered some of the worst of them with his shield. Neither was
he ill-disposed toward the methods and usages of public worship
so far as we can judge. His quarrel first, last, and always was
with a certain rival claimant of power, whose pretended authority
he was determined to drive out of the realm, to wit, the Pope.
But while it was thus with Henry, it was far otherwise with many
of the more thoughtful and devout among his theologians, and
when the restraint that had been laid on them was removed by
the king's death, they welcomed the opportunity to apply to
doctrine and worship the same reforming touch that had already
remoulded polity.

An enlarged Committee of Convocation sat at Windsor in the summer
of 1548, and as a result there was finally set forth, and ordered
to be put into use on Whitsunday, 1549, what has become known in
history as the "First Prayer Book of Edward VI."

To dwell on those features of the First Book that have remained
unaltered to the present day would be superfluous; I shall
therefore, in speaking of it, confine myself to the distinctive
and characteristic points in which it differs from the Prayer
Books that have succeeded it.

It is worthy of note that in the title page of the First Book
there is a clear distinction drawn between the Church Universal,
or what we call in the _Te Deum_ "the holy Church throughout all
the world," and that particular Church to which King Edward's
subjects, in virtue of their being Englishmen, belonged. The book
is said to be "the Book of the Common Prayer and administration of
the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of _The Church_,
after the use of the Church of England." "_The Church_" is
recognized as being a larger and, perhaps, older thing than the
_Church of England_, while at the same time it is intimated that
only through such use of these same prayers and sacraments as the
English Church ordains and authorizes can English folk come into
communion with the great family of believers spread over the whole

The Preface is a singularly racy piece of English, in which with
the utmost plainness of speech the compilers give their reasons
for having dealt with the old services as they have done. This
reappears in the English Prayer Book of the present day under the
title "Concerning the Service of The Church," and so described is
placed after the Preface written in 1662 by the Revisers of the

The Order for Daily Morning Prayer, as we name it, is called in
Edward's First Book "An Order for Matins daily through the year."
Similarly, what we call the Order for Daily Evening Prayer was
styled "An Order for Evensong." These beautiful names, "Matins"
and "Evensong," which it is a great pity to have lost, for surely
there is nothing superstitious about them, disappeared from the
book as subsequently revised, and save in the Lectionary of the
Church of England have no present recognition. One of them,
however, Evensong, seems to be coming very generally into colloquial
use. The Order for Matins began with the Lord's Prayer. Then, after
the familiar versicles still in use, including two that have no
place in our American book, "O God, make speed to save me. O Lord,
make haste to help me," there followed in full the 95th Psalm, a
portion of which is known to us as the _Venite_. From this point
the service proceeded, as in the English Prayer Book of to-day,
through the Collect for Grace, where it came to an end. The
structure of Evensong was similar, beginning with the Lord's
Prayer and ending, as our shortened Evening Prayer now does, with
the Collect for Aid against Perils. Then followed the Athanasian
Creed, and immediately afterward came the Introits, Collects,
Epistles, and Gospels.

These Introits, so-called, were psalms appointed to be sung when
the priest was about to begin the Holy Communion. They had been
an ancient feature of divine service, but were dropped from the
subsequent books as a required feature of the Church's worship.

The title of the Communion Service in Edward's First Book is as
follows: "The Supper of the Lord and the Holy Communion commonly
called the Mass." Immediately after the Prayer for Purity--_i_.
_e_., in the place where we have the Ten Commandments, comes the
_Gloria in Excelsis_. The service then proceeds very much as with
us, except that the Prayer for the Church Militant and the
Consecration Prayer are welded into one, and the Prayer of Humble
Access given a place immediately before the reception of the
elements. I note, in passing, certain phrases and sentences that
are peculiar to the Communion Office of the First Book, as, for
instance, this from the Prayer for the whole state of Christ's
Church: "And here we do give unto thee most high praise and hearty
thanks for the wonderful grace and virtue declared in all thy
saints from the beginning of the world, and chiefly in the most
glorious and blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of thy Son Jesus Christ
our Lord and God, and in the holy patriarchs, prophets, apostles,
and martyrs, whose examples, O Lord, and steadfastness in thy
faith and keeping thy holy commandments grant us to follow. We
commend unto thy mercy, O Lord, all other thy servants which are
departed hence from us with the sign of faith and do now rest in
the sleep of peace. Grant unto them, we beseech thee, thy mercy and
everlasting peace, and that at the day of the general resurrection
we and all they which be of the mystical body of thy Son may
altogether be set on his right hand."

And this from the closing portion of the Consecration: "Yet we
beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service, and
command these our prayers and supplications by the ministry of thy
holy angels to be brought up into thy holy tabernacle before the
sight of thy divine majesty."

Following close upon the Communion Service came the Litany, differing
very little from what we have to-day, save in the memorable petition,
"From the tyranny of the Bishop of Rome and all his detestable
enormities, good Lord deliver us."

The Baptismal Offices of the First Book contain certain unique
features. The sign of the cross is ordered to be made on the child's
breast as well as on his forehead. There is a form of exorcism said
over the infant in which the unclean spirit is commanded to come
out and to depart. There is also the giving of the "Crisome" or
white vesture as a symbol of innocence. "Take this white vesture
for a token of the innocency which by God's grace in this holy
sacrament of Baptism is given unto thee, and for a sign whereby
thou art admonished, so long as thou livest, to give thyself to
innocency of living, that after this transitory life thou mayest
be partaker of the life everlasting."

The Catechism in Edward VI. First Book, as in the subsequent books
down to 1662, is made a part of the Confirmation Office, although
it does not clearly appear that the children were expected to say
it as a preliminary to the service.

The Office for the Visitation of the Sick contains provision for
private confession and absolution, and also directs that the priest
shall anoint the sick man with oil if he be desired to do so.

The Office for the Communion of the Sick allows the practice of what
is called the reservation of the elements, but contains also, be it
observed, that rubric which has held its place through all the
changes the Prayer Book has undergone, where we are taught that if
the sick man by any "just impediment fail to receive the sacrament
of Christ's body and blood, the curate shall instruct him that if
he do truly repent him of his sins and steadfastly believe that
Jesus Christ hath suffered death upon the cross for him . . . he
doth eat and drink the body and blood of our Saviour Christ,
profitably to his soul's health although he do not receive the
sacrament with his mouth."

The Burial Office contains a recognition of prayer for the dead,
but except in the matter of the arrangement of the parts differs
but little from the service still in use. A special Introit,
Collect, Epistle, and Gospel are appointed "for the Celebration of
the Holy Communion when there is a Burial of the Dead."

A Commination Office for Ash-Wednesday, substantially identical
with that still in use in the Church of England, concludes the book.

The First Prayer Book of King Edward the Sixth, memorable as it was
destined to become, proved, so far as actual use was concerned, but
short-lived. It became operative, as we have seen, on Whitsunday,
1549, but it was soon evident that while the new services went too
far in the direction of reform to please the friends of the ancient
order of things, they did not go far enough to meet the wishes of
the reforming party.

Before the year was out no fewer than three translations of the
Liturgy into Latin had been undertaken with a view to informing
the Protestant divines of the Continent as to what their English
colleagues were doing. "There was already within the Church" (of
England), writes Cardwell, in his comparison of Edward's two books,
"a party, though probably not numerous, which espoused the peculiar
sentiments of Calvin; there were others, and Cranmer, it appears,
had recently been one of them, adhering strictly to the opinions
of Luther; there were many, and those among the most active and the
most learned, who adopted the views of Bullinger and the theologians
of Zurich; there was a still larger body anxious to combine all
classes of Protestants under one general confession, and all these,
though with distinct objects and different degrees of impatience,
looked forward to a revision of the Liturgy, to bring it more
completely into accordance with their own sentiments."

As a result of the agitation thus vividly pictured by Cardwell,
there came forth in 1552 the book known as the Second Prayer Book
of King Edward VI., a work of the very greatest interest, for the
reason that it was destined to become the basis of all future
revisions. Whitsunday, 1549, was the day when the First Book began
to be used. The Feast of All Saints, 1552, was the date officially
appointed for the introduction of the Second Book. Presently King
Edward died, and by an act of Mary passed in October, 1553, the use
of his Book became illegal on and after December 20th of that year.
It thus appears that the First Book was in use for two years and
about four months, and the Second Book one year and about two
months. A memorable three years and a half for the English-speaking
peoples of all time to come, for it is not too much to say that
while the language of Tyndale and of Cranmer continues to be heard
on earth, the devotions then put into form will keep on moulding
the religious thought and firing the spiritual imagination of this

The points in which the second of King Edward's two books differs
from the first are of such serious moment and the general complexion
of the later work has in it such an access of Protestant coloring,
that high Anglican writers have been in the habit of attributing the
main features of the revision to the interference of the Continental
Reformers. "If it had not been for the impertinent meddling," they
have been accustomed to say, "of such foreigners as Bucer, Peter
Martyr, and John a-Lasco, we might have been enjoying at the present
day the admirable and truly Catholic devotions set forth in the
fresh morning of the Reformation, before the earth-born vapors of
theological controversy and ecclesiastical partisanship had
beclouded an otherwise fair sky." But it does not appear that there
is any solid foundation in fact for these complaints.

The natural spread of the spirit of reform among the people of the
realm, taken in connection with the changes of opinion which the
swift movement of the times necessarily engendered in the minds of
the leading divines, are of themselves quite sufficient to account
for what took place. Certainly, if the English of that day were at
all like their descendants in our time, it is in the highest degree
unlikely that they would have allowed a handful of learned refugees
to force upon them changes which their own sober judgment did not

The truth is, very little is certainly known as to the details of
what was done in the making of Edward's Second Book. Even the names
of the members of the committee intrusted with the revision are
matter of conjecture, and of the proceedings of that body no
authentic record survives. What we do possess and are in a position
to criticise is the book itself, and to a brief review of the
points in which it differs from its predecessor we will now pass.

Upon taking up the Second Book after laying down the First, one is
struck immediately with the changed look of Morning Prayer. This
is no longer called Matins, and no longer begins as before with the
Lord's Prayer. An Introduction has been prefixed to the office
consisting of a collection of sentences from Holy Scripture, all of
them of a penitential character, and besides these of an Exhortation,
a Confession, and an Absolution. There can be little doubt that this
opportunity for making public acknowledgment of sin and hearing
the declaration of God's willingness to forgive, was meant to
counterbalance the removal from the book of all reference, save
in one instance, to private confession and absolution. The Church
of England has always retained in her Visitation Office a permission
to the priest to pronounce absolution privately to the sick man.
This was a feature of the First Book that was not disturbed in the
Second. But wherever else they found anything that seemed to look
toward the continuance of the system familiarly known to us under
the name of "the Confessional," they expunged it. Between the
Exhortation and the Confession there is, in point of literary merit,
a noticeable contrast, and it is scarcely to be believed that both
formularies can have proceeded from one and the same pen. Another
step in the Protestant direction was the prohibition of certain
vestments that in the First Book had been allowed, as the alb and
cope. The Introit Psalms were taken away. The word "table" was
everywhere substituted for the word "altar." The changes in the
Office of the Holy Communion were numerous and significant. The
Ten Commandments, for instance, were inserted in the place where
we now have them. The _Gloria in Excelsis_ was transferred from
the beginning of the service to the end. The Exhortations were
re-written. The supplication for the dead was taken out of the
Prayer for the whole state of Christ's Church, and the words
"militant here on earth" were added to the title with a view to
confining the scope of the intercession to the circle of people
still alive. The Confession, Absolution, Comfortable Words, and
Prayer of Humble Access were placed before the Consecration instead
of after it. Most important of all was the change of the words
appointed to be said in delivering the elements to the communicants.
In the First Book these had been, "The body of our Lord Jesus Christ
which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting
life," and in the case of the cup, "The blood of our Lord Jesus
Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto
everlasting life." For these were now substituted in the one
instance the words, "Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ
died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith, with
thanksgiving," and in the other, "Drink this in remembrance that
Christ's blood was shed for thee, and be thankful."

From the Office for the Communion of the Sick the direction to
reserve the elements was omitted, as was also the permission to
anoint the sick man with oil. The Service of Baptism was no longer
suffered to retain the exorcism of the evil spirit, or the white
vesture, or the unction; and there were other items of less
important change. Those mentioned reveal plainly enough what was
the animus of the revisers. Most evidently the intention was to
produce a liturgy more thoroughly reformed, more in harmony with
the new tone and temper which the religious thought of the times
was taking on.

We come to the Third Book of Common Prayer. Bloody Mary was dead,
and Elizabeth had succeeded to the throne.

During the Roman reaction proclamation had been made that all the
Reformed service-books should be given up to the ecclesiastical
authorities within fifteen days to be burned. This is doubtless
the reason why copies of the liturgical books of Edward's reign
are now so exceedingly rare. Reprints of them abound, but the
originals exist only as costly curiosities.

Soon after Elizabeth's accession a committee of divines assembled
under her authority for the purpose of again revising the

The queen was personally a High-Churchwoman, and her own judgment
is said to have been favorable to taking the first of Edward's two
books as the basis of the revision, but a contrary preference
swayed the committee, and the lines followed were those of 1552
and not those of 1549.

The new features distinctive of the Prayer Book of Elizabeth,
otherwise known as the Prayer Book of 1559, are not numerous.
A table of Proper Lessons for Sundays was introduced. The old
vestments recognized in the earlier part of King Edward's reign
were again legalized. The petition for deliverance from the tyranny
of the Pope was struck out of the Litany, and by a compromise
peculiarly English in its character, and, as experience has shown,
exceedingly well judged, the two forms of words that had been used
in the delivery of the elements in the Holy Communion were welded
together into the shape in which we have them still.

Queen Elizabeth's Prayer Book continued in use for five-and-forty
years. Nothing was more natural than that when she died there should
come with the accession of a new dynasty a demand for fresh revision.
King James, who was not afflicted with any want of confidence in
his own judgment, invited certain representatives of the disaffected
party to meet, under his presidency, the Churchmen in council with
a view to the settlement of differences. The Puritans had been
gaining in strength during Elizabeth's reign, and they felt that
they were now in position to demand a larger measure of liturgical
reform than that monarch and her advisers had been willing to
concede to them.

King James convened his conference at Hampton Court, near London,
and he himself was good enough to preside. Very little came of the
debate. The Puritans had demanded the discontinuance of the sign of
the cross in Baptism, of bowing at the name of Jesus, of the ring
in marriage, and of the rite of confirmation. The words "priest"
and "absolution" they sought to have expunged from the Prayer Book,
and they desired that the wearing of the surplice should be made

Almost nothing was conceded to them. The words "or Remission of
Sins" were added to the title of the Absolution, certain Prayers
and Thanksgivings were introduced, and that portion of the Catechism
which deals with the Sacraments was for the first time set forth.
And thus the English Prayer Book started out upon its fourth lease
of life destined in this form to endure unchanged, though by no
means unassailed, for more than half a century.

A stirring half century it was. The Puritan defeat at Hampton Court
was redressed at Naseby. With the coming in of the Long Parliament
the Book of Common Prayer went out, and to all appearances the
triumph of the Commonwealth meant the final extinction of the usage
of liturgical worship on English soil. The book, under its various
forms, had lasted just a hundred years when he who

  Nothing common did or mean
  Upon that memorable scene

suffered at Whitehall.

They buried him in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, and no single word
of the Prayer Book he had loved and for which he had fought was
said over his grave.

On January 3, 1645, Parliament repealed the statutes of Edward VI.
and of Elizabeth that had enjoined the use of the Book of Common
Prayer, and took order that thereafter only such divine service
should be lawful as accorded with what was called the _Directory_,
a manual of suggestions with respect to public worship adopted by
the Presbyterian party as a substitute for the ancient liturgy.

With the restoration of the Stuarts in 1660 came naturally the
restoration of the Prayer Book, and with equal naturalness a
revision of it. But of what sort should the revision be, and under
whose auspices conducted? This was an anxious question for the
advisers, civil and ecclesiastical, of the restored king. Should
the second Charles take up the book just as it had fallen from the
hands of the first Charles, unchanged in line or letter, or should
he seek by judicious alterations and timely concessions to win
back for the national Church the good-will and loyalty of those
who, eighteen years before, had broken down her hedge? The situation
may be described as triangular.

The king's secret and personal sympathies were probably all along
with the Roman Church; his official allegiance was plainly due to
the Church of England; and yet, at the same time, he owed much
to the forbearance of the men who had been dominant under the
Commonwealth. The mind of the nation had, indeed, reacted toward
monarchy, but not with such an absolute and hardy renunciation of
the doctrines of popular sovereignty as to make it safe for the
returning king to do precisely as he chose. The glorious Revolution
that was destined so soon to follow upon the heels of the gracious
Restoration gave evidence, when it came, that there were some
things the people of England prized even more highly than an
hereditary throne. Misgivings as to the amount there might still
be of this sort of electricity in the atmosphere suggested to the
king and his counsellors the expediency of holding a conference,
at which the leaders on either side might bring forward their strong
reasons in favor of this or that method of dealing with the
ecclesiastical question in general, and more especially with the
vexed problem of worship.

Accordingly, early in the spring of 1661 the King issued a
royal warrant summoning to meet at the Savoy Palace in the
Strand an equal number of representatives of both parties--namely,
one-and-twenty Churchmen and one-and-twenty Presbyterians.

The Episcopal deputation consisted of twelve bishops and nine other
divines called coadjutors. The Presbyterians had also their twelve
principal men and their nine coadjutors.

Conspicuous among the Episcopalians for weight of learning were
Bishops Sanderson, Cosin, and Walton, and Doctors Pearson, Sparrow,
and Heylin. Baxter, Reynolds, Calamy, and Lightfoot were the most
notable of the Presbyterians.

The conference, which has ever since been known from its place of
meeting (an old palace of the Piedmontese Ambassadors) as the Savoy
Conference, convened on April 15, 1661. For various reasons, it
was evident from the outset that the Churchmen were in a position
of great advantage. In the first place, signs and tokens of a
renewed confidence in monarchy and of a revived attachment to the
reigning House were becoming daily more numerous.

Before he had had a chance to test the strength of the existing
political parties and to know how things really stood, Charles had
borne himself very discreetly toward the Presbyterians, and had
held out hopes to them which, as the event proved, were destined
never to be realized. In a declaration put forth in the autumn of
1660, after he had been for some months on English soil, he had even
gone so far as to say: "When we were in Holland we were attended
by many grave and learned ministers from hence, who were looked
upon as the most able and principal asserters of the Presbyterian
opinions; with whom we had as much conference as the multitude of
affairs which were then upon us would permit us to have, and to
our great satisfaction and comfort found them persons full of
affection to us, of zeal for the peace of the Church and State, and
neither enemies, as they have been given out to be, to episcopacy
or liturgy, but modestly to desire such alterations in either,
as without shaking foundations might best allay the present

By the time the conference met it had become evident, from votes
taken in Parliament and otherwise, that the Churchmen could sustain
toward their opponents a somewhat stiffer attitude than this without
imperilling their cause. Another great advantage enjoyed by the
Episcopalians grew out of the fact that they were the party in
possession. They had only to profess themselves satisfied with the
Prayer Book as it stood, in order to throw the Presbyterians into
the position of assailants, and defense is always easier than
attack. Sheldon, the Bishop of London, was not slow to perceive
this. At the very first meeting of the conference, he is reported
to have said that "as the Non-conformists, and not the bishops, had
sought for the conference, nothing could be done till the former
had delivered their exceptions in writing, together with the
additional forms and alterations which they desired." Upon which
Bishop Burnet in his _History of his own Times_ remarks: "Sheldon
saw well what the effect would be of putting them to make all their
demands at once. The number of them raised a mighty outcry against
them, as people that could never be satisfied."

The Presbyterians, however, took up the challenge, set to work at
formulating their objections, and appointed Richard Baxter, the most
famous of their number, to show what could be done in the way of
making a better manual of worship than the Book of Common Prayer.

Baxter, a truly great man and wise in a way, though scarcely in the
liturgical way, was guilty of the incredible folly of undertaking
to construct a Prayer Book within a fortnight.

Of this liturgy it is probably safe to say that no denomination of
Christians, however anti-prelatical or eccentric, would for a
moment dream of adopting it, if, indeed, there be a single local
congregation anywhere that could be persuaded to employ it. The
characteristic of the devotions is lengthiness. The opening sentence
of the prayer with which the book begins contains by actual count
eighty-three words. It is probable that Baxter by his rash act did
more to injure the cause of intelligent and reverential liturgical
revision than any ten men have done before or since. In every
discussion of the subject he is almost sure to be brought forward
as "the awful example."

A document much more to the point than Baxter's Liturgy was the
formal catalogue of faults and blemishes alleged against the Prayer
Book, which the Puritan members of the conference in due time
brought in. This indictment, for it may fairly be called such,
since it was drawn up in separate counts, is very interesting
reading. Of the "exceptions against the Book of Common Prayer,"
as the Puritans named their list of liturgical grievances, some
must strike almost any reader of the present day as trivial and
unworthy. Others again there are that draw a sympathetic Amen from
many quarters to-day. To an American Episcopalian the catalogue
is chiefly interesting as showing how ready and even eager were
our colonial ancestors of a hundred years ago to remove out of the
way such known rocks of offence as they could. An attentive student
of the American Prayer Book cannot fail to be struck with the number
of instances in which the text gives evidence of the influence
exerted over the minds of our revisers by what had been urged, more
than a hundred years before, by the Puritan members of the Savoy
Conference. The defeat of 1661 was, in a measure at least, avenged
in 1789. It is encouraging to those who cast their bread upon
liturgical waters to notice after how many days the return may come.
But the conference, to all outward seeming, was a failure. Baxter's
unhappy Prayer Book was its own sufficient refutation, and as for
the list of special grievances it was met by the bishops with an
"Answer" that was full of hard raps and conceded almost nothing.

A few detached paragraphs may serve to illustrate the general tone
of this reply. Here, for instance, is the comment of the bishops
upon the request of the Puritans to be allowed occasionally to
substitute extemporaneous for liturgical devotions. "The gift or
rather spirit of prayer consists in the inward graces of the spirit,
not in extempore expressions which any man of natural parts having
a voluble tongue and audacity may attain to without any special
gift." Nothing very conciliatory in that. To the complaint that
the Collects are too short, the bishops reply that they cannot
for that reason be accounted faulty, being like those "short but
prevalent prayers in Scripture, Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.
Lord, increase our faith." The Puritans had objected to the
antiphonal element in the Prayer-Book services, and desired to
have nothing of a responsive character allowed beyond the single
word Amen. "But," rejoin the bishops, "they directly practise the
contrary in one of their principal parts of worship, singing of
psalms, where the people bear as great a part as the minister. If
this way be done in Hopkin's why not in David's Psalms; if in metre,
why not in prose; if in a psalm, why not in a litany?" Sharp, but
not winning.

The Puritans had objected to the people's kneeling while the
Commandments were read on the score that ignorant worshippers
might mistake the Decalogue for a form of prayer. With some asperity
the bishops reply that "why Christian people should not upon their
knees ask their pardon for their life forfeited for the breach of
every commandment and pray for grace to keep them for the time to
come they must be more than 'ignorant' that can scruple."

The time during which the conference at the Savoy should continue
its sessions had been limited to four months. This period expired
on July 24, 1661, and the apparently fruitless disputation was at
an end. Meanwhile, however, Convocation, the recognized legislature
of the Church of England, had begun to sit, and the bishops had
undertaken a revision of the Prayer Book after their own mind, and
with slight regard to what they had been hearing from their critics
at the Savoy. The bulk of their work, which included, it is said,
more than six hundred alterations, most of them of a verbal
character and of no great importance, was accomplished within the
compass of a single month. It is consoling to those who within our
own memory have been charged with indecent haste for seeking to
effect a revision of the American Book of Common Prayer within a
period of nine years, to find this precedent in ecclesiastical
history for their so great rashness.

Since Charles the Second's day there has been no formal revision of
the Prayer Book of the Church of England by the Church of England.

Some slight relaxations of liturgical use on Sundays have been made
legal by Act of Parliament, but in all important respects the Prayer
Book of Victoria is identical with the book set forth by Convocation
and sanctioned by Parliament shortly after the collapse of the Savoy
Conference. Under no previous lease of life did the book enjoy
anything like so long a period of continued existence. Elizabeth's
book was the longest lived of all that preceded the Restoration,
but that only continued in use five-and-forty years. But the Prayer
Book of 1661 has now held its own in England for two centuries and
a quarter. When, therefore, we are asked to accept the first
Edwardian Book as the only just exponent of the religious mind of
England, it is open to us to reply, "Why should we, seeing that
the Caroline Book has served as the vehicle of English devotion for
a period seventy-five times as long?" The most voluminous of the
additions made to the Prayer Book, in 1661, were the Office for the
Baptism of Adults and the Forms of Prayer to be used at Sea. The
wide diffusion, under the Commonwealth, of what were then called
Anabaptist opinions, had brought it to pass that throughout the
kingdom there were thousands of men and women who had grown up
unbaptized. At the time of the Reformation such a thing as an
unchristened Christendom seems not to have been thought possible.
At any rate no provision was made for the contingency. But upon
the spread of liberty of religious thought there followed, logically
enough, the spread of liberty of religious action, and it was not
strange that after a whole generation had spent its life in
controversy of the warmest sort over this very point of Baptism,
there were found to be in England multitudes of the unbaptized.

Another reason assigned in the Preface of the English Prayer Book
for the addition of this office was that it might be used for the
baptizing of "natives in the plantations and other converts." This
is the first hint of any awakening of the conscience of the English
Church to a sense of duty toward those strangers and foreigners who
in the "Greater Britain" of these later days fill so large a place.
The composition of the office, which differs very little, perhaps
scarcely enough, from that appointed for the Baptism of Infants, is
attributed to Griffith, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The compiler of
the Forms of Prayer to be used at Sea was Bishop Sanderson, famous
among English theologians as an authority on casuistry. He must have
found it rather a nice case of conscience to decide whether a Stuart
divine in preparing forms of prayer for a navy that had been the
creation of Oliver Cromwell ought wholly to omit an acknowledgment
of the nation's obligation to that stout-hearted, if non-Episcopal
Christian. Other additions of importance made at this revision were
the General Thanksgiving, in all probability the work of Reynolds,
a conforming Presbyterian divine, the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel
for the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, the Prayer for Parliament,
upon the lines of which our own Prayer for Congress was afterward
modelled, and the Prayer for All Sorts and Conditions of Men. In
the Litany the words "rebellion" and "schism" were introduced into
one of the suffrages, becoming tide-marks of the havoc wrought in
Church and State by what the revisers, doubtless, looked back upon
as "the flood of the ungodly." The words "Bishops, Priests, and
Deacons" were substituted for "Bishops, Pastors, and Ministers of
the Church." New Collects were appointed for the Third Sunday in
Advent and for St. Stephen's Day. Both of these are distinct gains,
albeit had the opinion then prevailed that to introduce into the
Prayer Book anything from the pen of a living writer is an impiety,
we should have gained neither of them.

Another important change made in 1662 was the adoption for the
Sentences, Epistles and Gospels of the language of King James's
Bible in place of that of earlier versions. This principle was not
applied to the Psalter, to the Decalogue, or, in fact, to any of
the portions of Scripture contained in the Communion Service.

It is also interesting to note that the Confession in the Holy
Communion, which the earlier rubric had directed should be said
by one of the congregation, or else by one of the ministers, or
by the priest himself, "was now made general and enjoined upon all
the worshippers."

Most suggestive of all, however, was the reinsertion at the end of
the Communion Service of a certain Declaration about the significance
of the act of kneeling at the reception of the elements, which had,
as some say, irregularly and without proper authority, found its way
into the Second Book of Edward VI., but had been omitted from all
subsequent books till now. This Declaration, which from its not
being printed in red ink is known to those who dislike it under the
name of "the black rubric," was undoubtedly intended to ease the
consciences of those who scrupled to kneel at the altar-rail for
fear of seeming to countenance that superstitious adoration of the
elements known to and stigmatized by the Reformers as "host-worship."
The language of the black rubric as it stood in Edward's Second
Book was as follows: "Although no order can be so perfectly devised
but it may be of some, either for their ignorance and infirmity,
or else of malice and obstinacy, misconstrued, depraved, and
interpreted in a wrong part; and yet because brotherly charity
willeth that so much as conveniently may be offences should be
taken away; therefore we willing to do the same: whereas, it is
ordained in the Book of Common Prayer, in the Administration of
the Lord's Supper, that the communicants kneeling should receive the
Holy Communion, which thing being well meant for a signification
of the humble and grateful acknowledging of the benefits of Christ
given unto the worthy receiver, and to avoid the profanation and
disorder, which about the Holy Communion might else ensue, lest
yet the same kneeling might be thought or taken otherwise; we do
declare that it is not meant thereby, that any adoration is done
or ought to be done, either unto the sacramental bread or wine
there bodily received or unto any real and essential presence there
being of Christ's natural flesh and blood. For as concerning the
sacramental bread and wine they remain still in their very natural
substances, and therefore may not be adored, for that were idolatry
to be abhorred of all faithful Christians: and as concerning the
natural body and blood of our Saviour Christ, they are in heaven
and not here, for it is against the truth of Christ's true natural
body to be in more places than in one at one time."

In restoring this significant Declaration, the revisers of 1662
substituted the words "corporal presence" for the words "real and
substantial presence," but probably with no intention other than
that of making the original meaning more plain. The fact that in
the teeth and eyes of the black rubric the practice known as
Eucharistical adoration has become widely prevalent in the Church
of England, only shows how little dependence can be placed on forms
of words to keep even excellent and religious people from doing
the things they have a mind to do.

In taking leave of the Caroline revision, it may be permitted to
dwell for a moment upon the serious character of the conclusion
reached by the ecclesiastical leaders of that day. An opportunity
was given them to conciliate dissent. Without going all lengths,
without in any measure imperilling the great foundation principles
of Anglican religion, they might, it would seem, have won back to
the national church thousands of those whom their sternness not
only repelled but permanently embittered. But it was the hour of
victory with the Churchmen, and "Woe to the conquered" seems to
have been their cry. They set their faces as a flint against
concession; they passed their iron-clad act of uniformity, and
now for more than two hundred years religion in Great Britain has
been a household divided against itself. Perhaps nothing that the
men of the Restoration could have done would have made it otherwise.
Perhaps the familiar question of the cynical Dean of St. Patrick's,
"What imports it how large a gate you open, if there be always left
a number who place a pride and a merit in refusing to enter?" was
a fair question, and fatal to any dream of unity. And yet one may
be pardoned for believing that had a little of the oil of brotherly
kindness been poured upon those troubled waters we whom the waves
still buffet might to-day be sailing a smoother sea.

As stated above, the Convocation of 1662 gave to the Prayer Book of
the Church of England the form it has ever since retained. But it
must not be supposed that no efforts have been made meanwhile to
bring changes to pass. The books written upon the subject form a
literature by themselves.

The one really serious attempt to reconstruct the Liturgy in
post-Caroline times was that which grew naturally enough out of the
Revolution of 1688. In every previous crisis of political change,
the Prayer Book had felt the tremor along with the statute-book.

Church and State, like heart and brain, are sympathetically
responsive to one another; revisions of rubrics go naturally
along with revisions of codes. It was only what might have been
anticipated, therefore, that when William and Mary came to the
throne a Commission should issue for a new review. If Elizabeth
had found it necessary to revise the book, if James had found it
necessary, if Charles had found it necessary, why should not the
strong hand of William of Orange be laid upon the pages? But this
time the rule was destined to find its exception. The work of review
was, indeed, undertaken by a Royal Commission, including among its
members the great names of Stillingfleet, Tillotson, and Beveridge,
but nothing came of their work. Convocation again showed itself
unfriendly to anything like concessive measures, and so complete
was the obscurity into which the doings of the Commission fell,
that even as late as 1849, Cardwell, in the third edition of
his _History of Conferences_, speaks as if he knew nothing of
the whereabouts of the record. In 1854 the manuscript minutes
of the Commission's proceedings were discovered in the Library
of Lambeth Palace, and by order of Parliament printed as a
Blue-book. The same document has also been published in a more
readable form by Bagster. One rises from the perusal of this Broad
Church Prayer Book--for such, perhaps, Tillotson's attempt may not
unfairly be called--profoundly thankful that the promoters of it
were not suffered to succeed. The Preface to our American Book of
Common Prayer refers to this attempted review of 1689 "as a great
and good work." But the greatness and the goodness must have lain
in the motive, for one fails to discern them either in the matter
or in the manner of what was recommended.

Even Macaulay, Whig that he is, fails not to put on record his
condemnation of the literary violence which the Prayer Book so
narrowly escaped at the hands of the Royal Commission of 1689.
Terseness was not the special excellency of Macaulay's own style,
yet even he resented Bishop Patrick's notion that the Collects
could be improved by amplification. One of the few really good
suggestions made by the Commissioners was that of using the
Beatitudes in the Office of the Holy Communion as an alternate
for the Decalogue. There are certain festivals of the Christian
year when such a substitution would be most timely and refreshing.

We make a leap now of just a hundred years. From 1689 we pass to
1789, and find ourselves in the city of Philadelphia, at a
convention assembled for the purpose of framing a constitution
and setting forth a liturgy for a body of Christians destined to
be known as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States
of America. During the interval between the issue of the Declaration
of Independence and the Ratification of the Constitution of the
United States, the people in this country who had been brought
up in the communion of the Church of England found themselves
ecclesiastically in a very delicate position indeed. As colonists
they had been canonically under the spiritual jurisdiction of the
Bishop of London, a somewhat remote diocesan. But with this
Episcopal bond broken and no new one formed, they seemed to be
in a peculiar sense adrift. It does not fall to me to narrate
the steps that led to the final establishment of the episcopacy
upon a sure foundation, nor yet to trace the process through which
the Church's legislative system came gradually to its completion.
Our interest is a liturgical one, and our subject matter the
evolution of the Prayer Book. I say nothing, therefore, of other
matters that were debated in the Convention of 1789, but shall
propose instead that we confine ourselves to what was said and
done about the Prayer Book. In order, however, fully to appreciate
the situation we must go back a little. In a half-formal and
half-informal fashion there had come into existence, four years
before this Convention of 1789 assembled, an American Liturgy now
known by the name of _The Proposed Book_. It had been compiled on
the basis of the English Prayer Book by a Committee of three
eminent clergymen, Dr. White of Pennsylvania, Dr. William Smith
of Maryland, and Dr. Wharton of Delaware. Precisely what measure
of acceptance this book enjoyed, or to what extent it came actually
into use, are difficult, perhaps hopeless questions.

What we know for certain is that the public opinion of the greater
number of Churchmen rejected it as inadequate and unsatisfactory.
In the Convention of 1789 The Proposed Book does not seem to have
been seriously considered in open debate at all, though doubtless
there was much talk about it, much controversy over its merits and
demerits at Philadelphia dinner-tables and elsewhere while the
session was in progress.

The truth is, the changes set forth in _The Proposed Book_ were
too sweeping to commend themselves to the sober second-thought of
men whose blood still showed the tincture of English conservatism.
Possibly also some old flames of Tory resentment were rekindled,
here and there, by the prominence given in the book to a form of
public thanksgiving for the Fourth of July. There were Churchmen
doubtless at that day who failed duly to appreciate what were called
in the title of the office, "the inestimable blessings of Religious
and Civil Liberty." Others again may have been offended by the
treatment measured out to the Psalter, which was portioned into
thirty selections of two parts each, with the _Benedicite_ added
at the end, to be used, if desired, on the thirty-first day of any
month. Another somewhat crude and unliturgical device was the
running together without break of the Morning Prayer and the

I speak of blemishes, but _The Proposed Book_ had its excellences
also. Just at present it is the fashion in Anglican circles to heap
ridicule and contempt on _The Proposed Book_ out of all proportion
to its real demerits. Somehow it is thought to compromise us with
the English by showing up our ecclesiastical ancestors in an
unfavorable light as unlearned and ignorant men. It is treated
as people will sometimes treat an old family portrait of a forebear,
who in his day was under a cloud, mismanaged trust funds, or made
money in the slave trade. Thus a grave historiographer by way of
speaking comfortably on this score, assures us that the volume
"speedily sunk into obscurity," becoming one of the rarest of the
books illustrative of our ecclesiastical annals.

And yet, curiously enough, _The Proposed Book_ was in some points
more "churchly," using the word in a sense expressive of liturgical
accuracy, than the book finally adopted. In the Morning Prayer it
has the _Venite_ in full and not abridged. The _Benedictus_ it also
gives entire. A single form of Absolution is supplied. The versicles
following upon the Creed are more numerous than ours. In the Evening
Prayer the great Gospel Hymns, _the Magnificat_ and the _Nunc
dimittis_, stand in the places to which we with tardy justice have
only just restored them.

Again, if we consider those features of _The Proposed Book_ that
were retained and made part of the Liturgy in 1789, we shall have
further reason to refrain from wholesale condemnation of this
tentative work. For example, we owe the two opening sentences of
Morning Prayer, "The Lord is in his holy temple" and "From the
rising of the sun," to _The Proposed Book_, and also the special
form for Thanksgiving Day. And yet, on the whole, the Convention
of 1789 acted most wisely in determining that it would make the
Prayer Book of the Church of England, rather than _The Proposed
Book_, the real basis of revision. It did so, and as a result we
have what has served us so well during the first century of our
national life--the _Book of Common Prayer and Administration of
the Sacraments and other rites and ceremonies of the Church
according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the
United States of America_. The points wherein the American Prayer
Book differs from the Prayer Book of the Church of England are too
numerous to be catalogued in full. "They will appear," says the
Preface (a composition borrowed, by the way, almost wholly from
_The Proposed Book_), "and, it is to be hoped, the reasons of them
also, upon a comparison of this with the Book of Common Prayer of
the Church of England."

The most important differences are the following: The permissive
use of "Selections of Psalms in place of the Psalms appointed for
the day of the month." This was doubtless suggested by the wholesale
transformation of the Psalter in _The Proposed Book_ into a series
of selections.

The permitted shortening of the Litany is an American feature.

A number of the special prayers, as, for example, the prayer for a
sick person, that for persons going to sea, the thanksgivings for a
recovery and for a safe return, all these are peculiar to the
American use. Extensive alterations were made in the Marriage
Service and certain greatly needed ones in the Burial Office.
The two most noteworthy differences, however, are the omission
from our Prayer Book of the so-called Athanasian Creed, and the
insertion in it of that part of the Consecration Prayer in the
Communion Office known as the Invocation. The engrafting of this
latter feature we owe to the influence of Bishop Seabury, who by
this addition not only assimilated the language of our liturgy more
closely to that of the ancient formularies of the Oriental Church,
but also insured our being kept reminded of the truly spiritual
character of Holy Communion. "It is the spirit that quickeneth,"
this Invocation seems to say; "the flesh profiteth nothing." Quite
in line with this was the alteration made at the same time in the
language of the Catechism. "The Body and Blood of Christ," says the
English Book, "which are verily and indeed taken and received by
the faithful in the Lord's Supper."

"The Body and Blood of Christ," says the American Book, "which are
spiritually taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's

Many verbal changes are to be found scattered here and there
through the book, some of them for the better, some, perhaps,
for the worse. The prevailing purpose seems to have been to
expunge all obsolete words and phrases while dealing tenderly
with obsolescent ones. In this course, however, the revisers
were by no means always and everywhere consistent.

"Prevent," in the sense of "anticipate," is altered in some places
but left unchanged in others. In the _Visitation of Prisoners_, an
office borrowed from the Irish Prayer Book, the thoroughly obsolete
expression, "As you tender," in the sense of "as you value," the
salvation of your soul, is retained.

From the Psalter has disappeared in the American Book "Thou tellest
my Sittings," although why this particular archaism should have
been selected for banishment and a hundred others spared, it is
not easy to understand.

Perhaps some sudden impatience seized the reviser, like that which
moved Bishop Wren, while annotating his Prayer Book, to write on
the margin of the calendar for August, "Out with 'dog days' from
among the saints."

Considering what a bond of unity the Lord's Prayer appears to be
becoming among all English-speaking worshippers, it is, perhaps,
to be regretted that our revisers changed the wording of it in two
or three places. The excision of "Lighten our darkness" must
probably be attributed to the prosaic matter-of-fact temper which
had possession of everybody and everything during the last quarter
of the eighteenth century.

The Ordinal, the Articles, the Consecration of Churches, and the
Institution of Ministers made no part of the Prayer Book as it was
set forth in 1789; nor do they, even now, strictly speaking, make
a part of it, although in the matter of binding force and legal
authority they are on the same footing.

The Ordinal and Articles are substantially identical with the
English Ordinal and Articles, save in the matter of a reference
to the Athanasian Creed and several references to the connection of
Church and State. The Consecration of Churches and the Institution
of Ministers are offices distinctively American. If I add that the
American Book drops out of the Visitation of the Sick a form
of private absolution, and greatly modifies the service for
Ash-Wednesday, we shall have made our survey of differences
tolerably, though by no means exhaustively complete.

And now what is the lesson taught us by the history of the Prayer
Book? Homiletical as the question sounds, it is worth asking.

We have reviewed rapidly, but not carelessly, the vicissitudes of
the book's wonderful career, and we ought to be in a position to
draw some sort of instructive inference from it all. Well, one
thing taught us is this, the singular power of survival that lives
in gracious words. They wondered at the "gracious words which
proceeded out of His mouth," and because they wondered at them
they treasured them up.

Kind words, says the child's hymn, can never die; neither can
kindly words, and kindly in the deepest sense are many, many of
the words of the Common Prayer; they touch that which is most
catholic in us, that which strongly links us to our kind. There
is that in some of the Collects which as it has lasted since the
days when Roman emperors were sitting on their thrones, so will
it last while man continues what he is, a praying creature.

Another thing taught us by the Prayer Book's history is the duty
of being forever on our guard in the religious life against "the
falsehood of extremes."

The emancipated thinkers who account all standards of belief to
be no better than dungeon walls, scoff at this feature of the
Anglican character with much bitterness. "Your Church is a Church
of compromises," they say, "and your boasted _Via media_ only a
coward's path, the poor refuge of the man who dares not walk in
the open." But when we see this Prayer Book condemned for being
what it is by Bloody Mary, and then again condemned for being what
it is by the Long Parliament, the thought occurs to us that
possibly there is enshrined in this much-persecuted volume a truth
larger than the Romanist is willing to tolerate, or the Puritan
generous enough to apprehend.

A third important lesson is that we are not to confound revision
with ruin, or to suppose that because a book is marvellously good
it cannot conceivably be bettered. Each accomplished revision of
the Book of Common Prayer has been a distinct step in advance. If
God in his wise providence suffered an excellent growth of devotion
to spring up out of the soil of England in the days of Edward
the Sixth, and, after many years, determined that like a vine
out of Egypt it should be brought across the sea and given root
on these shores, we need not fear that we are about to lose
utterly our pleasant plant if we notice that the twigs and leaves
are adapting themselves to the climate and the atmosphere of the
new dwelling-place. The life within the vine remains what it always
was. The growth means health. The power of adaptation is the
guarantee of a perpetual youth.



The revision of long established formularies of public worship is,
as it ought to be, a matter compassed about with obstacles many and
great. A wise doubtfulness prompts conservative minds to throw every
mover for change upon the defensive, when liturgical interests
are at stake. So many men are born into the world with a native
disposition to tamper with and tinker all settled things, and so
many more become persuaded, as time goes on, of a personal "mission"
to pull down and remake whatever has been once built up, esteeming
life a failure unless they have contrived to build each his own
monument upon a clearing, that lovers of the old ways are sometimes
compelled in sheer self-defence to put on the appearance of being
more obstinately set against change than they really are. It ought
not to be absolutely impossible to alter a national hand-book of
worship (which is what any manual calling itself a Common Prayer
must aspire to become), but it is well that it should be all but
impossible to do so. Logically it might seem as if the possession
of a power to make involved a continuance of power to remake; and
so it does, to a certain extent, but only to a certain extent.
Living organisms cannot be remodelled with the same freedom as dead
matter. A solemnity hangs about the moment of birth that attaches
to no other crisis in a man's life until death comes. Similarly
there are certain features which the founders of institutions, the
first makers of organic law, imprint lastingly upon their work. We
may destroy the living thing so brought to birth; to kill is always
possible; but only by very gradual and plastic methods can we hope
in any measure to reconstruct the actual embodiment of life once
achieved. The men of 1789 had us in their power, even as the men
of 1549 had had both them and us. In every creative epoch many
things are settled by which unborn generations will be bound.[2]

It may be urged that this is an argument against adopting liturgies
in the first instance as vehicles of worship; and such undoubtedly
it is in so far forth as immobility ought in such matters to be
reckoned a disadvantage. But we are bound to take into account the
gain which comes with immobility as well as the drawbacks. We must
consider how large a proportion of the reverence which the great
institutes of human life exact from us is due to the fixity of the
things themselves. Mont Blanc loses nothing of its hold upon our
admiration because we always find it in the same place.

Men like to feel that there is something in the world stronger
than the individual will, stronger simply because it expresses
the settled common-sense of many as to what is fitting and right
in contrast with the whim of one. Lawyers, as a class, are almost
as conservative as ecclesiastics, and for the very reason that
they also are charged with the custody of established forms which
it is important that men should reverence. Laws affecting the tenure
of property, the binding force of contracts, the stability of the
marriage relation, not only cannot be lightly altered, the very
phraseology in which they are couched must be carefully handled,
for fear lest with the passing away of the form something of the
substance go also.

Moreover, the affections of men fasten themselves very tenaciously
to such a trellis as a liturgy affords. The love for "the old words
and the old tunes" against which all innovators in hymnody, however
deserving, have to do battle, asserts itself under the form of
love for the old prayers with ten-fold vehemence. An immense fund
of latent heat smoulders beneath the maxim, "Let the ancient customs
prevail"; and few of the victories achieved by the papacy are so
startling as those that have resulted in the displacement of the
liturgical uses of local Churches, that of Paris, for example, by
the Roman rite.

But true principles, as we are often reminded, become falsehoods
when shoved across the line of proper measure. The very cycles of
the astronomers have an end, and the clock-work of the most ancient
heavens, or at least our reading of it, calls, from time to time,
for readjustment. So long as man continues fallible his best
intended workmanship will occasionally demand such alteration for
the better as, within the limits already pointed out, may be

Many signs of the times suggest that the hour for a fresh review
of the Anglican formularies of worship is nigh at hand. Some of
these tokens are written on a sky broad enough to cover the whole
English-speaking race, others of them are visible chiefly within
our own national horizon. With respect to the English book, Cardwell
[3] writing in 1840 and Freeman[4] in 1855, considered revision,
however desirable in the abstract, to be a thing utterly out of
reach, not within the circle, as the parliamentary phrase now runs,
of "practical politics."

But it may be fairly questioned whether these high authorities,
were they living to-day, would not concur in the judgment of a more
recent writer when he says--in language which, _mutatis mutandis_,
applies to our own case: "The most weighty plea in favor of timely
inquiry into the subject is that the process of revision is actually
going on piecemeal, and with no very intelligent survey of the
bearings as a preliminary to any one instalment. The New Lectionary
of 1871, the Shortened Services Act, the debates in the Convocation
of Canterbury on rubrical amendments, none of them marked by any
sufficient care or knowledge, and all fraught with at least the
possibility of serious consequence, are examples of formal and
recognized inroads on the Act of Uniformity; while such practical
though unauthorized additions to the scanty group of Anglican
formularies as the Three Hours' Devotion, Harvest Thanksgivings,
Public Institution of Incumbents, Ordination of Readers and
Deaconesses, and Children's Services prove incontestably that
the narrow limits of the Common Prayer Book are no longer adequate
for the spiritual needs of the Church of England . . .

"It is evident, then, that contented acquiescence with the old state
of things already belongs to the past, and that a return to it is
impossible. We must perforce advance, for good or ill, in the path
of revision, and cannot even materially slacken the pace nor defer
the crisis. One choice, however, is left in our power, and that is
the most important of all, namely, the direction which revision
shall take--that of conservative and recuperative addition, or that
of further evisceration, ceremonial or devotional." [5]

A measure looking in the direction towards which this reviewer
points was actually passed by the General Convention of our own
Church at its late session in October, 1880.

The wording of the Resolution referred to was as follows:

"_Resolved_: That a Joint Committee, to consist of seven bishops,
seven presbyters, and seven laymen be appointed to consider and
report to the next General Convention whether, in view of the fact
that this Church is soon to enter upon the second century of its
organized existence in this country, the changed conditions of the
national life do not demand certain alterations in the Book of
Common Prayer in the direction of liturgical enrichment and
increased flexibility of use."[6]

In the present article the writer proposes to inquire, in connection
with this measure:

(1) What motives may fairly be supposed to have actuated the
Convention in allowing so important an initiatory step to be taken?

(2) What measure of authority was conferred on and what scope given
to the Joint Committee then constituted?

(3) What reasons exist for considering the present a happy moment
to attempt liturgical revision, within certain limits, should such
a thing be determined upon?

(4) What serious difficulties and obstacles are likely to be
encountered in Committee, in Convention, and in the Church at large?

(5) What particular improvements and adjustments of our existing
system would be, in point of fact, best worth the effort necessary
to secure them?

I. The interpretation of motives, difficult enough in the case of
individuals, becomes mere guess-work when the action under analysis
is that of a large body of men. Which one of many considerations
urged upon the Convention carried with it the supreme weight of
persuasion in this particular instance it is impossible to say.
Two or three arguments, however, from their frequent reappearance
in the debate may fairly be judged to have exercised a controlling
influence. One of these was hinted at in the language of the
resolution itself, namely, the call for revision that has grown
out of "the changed conditions of the national life." Shrewd and
far-seeing as were William White and his coadjutors in their
forecast of nineteenth century needs made from the standpoint of
the Peace of Versailles, they would have been more than human had
they succeeded in anticipating all the civil and ecclesiastical
consequences destined to flow from that memorable event. Certainly
it ought not to be held strange that this "new America" of ours,
with its enormously multiplied territory, its conglomerate of races,
its novel forms of association, its multiplicity of industries not
dreamed of a generation ago, should have demands to make in respect
to a better adaptation of ancient formularies to present wants, such
as thoughtful people count both reasonable and cogent. That a Prayer
Book revised primarily for the use of a half-proscribed Church
planted here and there along a sparsely inhabited sea-coast, should
serve as amply as it does the purposes of a population now swollen
from four millions to fifty, and covering the whole breadth of the
continent, is marvel enough; to assert for the book entire adequacy
to meet these altered circumstances is a mistake. "New time, new
favors, and new joys," so a familiar hymn affirms, "do a new song
require." We have conceded the principle so far as psalmody is
concerned, why not apply it to the service of prayer as well as
to that of praise, and in addition to our new hymns secure also such
new intercessions and new thanksgivings as the needs of to-day
suggest? The reference in the resolution to the approaching
completion of the century has since been playfully characterized
as a bit of "sentimentalism."[7] The criticism would be entirely
just if the mere recurrence of the centennial anniversary were the
point chiefly emphasized. But when a century closes as this one of
ours has done with a great social revolution whereby "all estates
of men" have been more or less affected, the proposal to signalize
entrance upon a fresh stretch of national life by making devotional
preparation for it is something better than a pretty conceit; there
is a serious reasonableness in it.[8]

Every revision of the Common Prayer of the Church of England, and
there have been four of them since Edward's First Book was put in
print, has taken place at some important era of transition in the
national life: and conversely it may be said that every civil
crisis, with a single exception, has left its mark upon the

To one who argues that because we in this country are evidently
entering upon a new phase of the national life we ought similarly
to re-enforce and readjust our service-book, it is no sufficient
reply to urge the severance effected here between Church and State.
The fact that ours is a non-established Church does not make her
wholly unresponsive to the shocks of change that touch the civil
fabric. In so far as a political renewal alters the social grading
of society, bringing in education, for instance, where before it
was not, or suddenly developing new forms of industrial activity,
the Church, whether established or not, is in duty bound to take
cognizance of the fresh field of duty thus suddenly thrust upon her,
and to prepare herself accordingly.

In the Preface added to the English Prayer Book at the Restoration,
and commonly attributed to Sanderson, "that staid and well weighed
man," as Hammond called him, there occurs a sentence which, both
on account of its embodying in a few words the whole philosophy of
liturgical revision and because of a certain practical bearing
presently to be pointed out, it is worth while, in spite of its
familiarity, to quote:

"The particular forms of Divine worship, and the rites and ceremonies
appointed to be used therein, being things in their own nature
indifferent and alterable and so acknowledged, it is but reasonable,
that upon weighty and important considerations, according to the
various exigency of times and occasions, such changes and alterations
should be made therein, as to those that are in place of authority
should from time to time seem either necessary or expedient."

Contemporaneously with this utterance there came into the Prayer
Book, as a direct consequence of the enormous enlargement of the
naval and commercial marine that had taken place under the
Commonwealth, the "Forms of Prayer to be used at Sea." Here was a
wise and right-minded recognition of a new want that had sprung up
with a new time, a want which jealousy of the Puritans who had built
up the naval supremacy did not prevent the Caroline bishops from
meeting. But the change that passed on England during five years of
Cromwell was as nothing compared with the transformation of America
under ninety-five years of the federal constitution. Take a single
illustration. The year 1789, the date of the Ratification of the
American Prayer Book, saw sea-island cotton first planted in the
United States, and it was about that time that upland cotton also
began to be cultivated for home and foreign use. As the effect of
this scarcely noticed experiment there straightway sprang up an
industry, North and South, which has been to our country almost
what her shipping interest is to Great Britain. Bishop White and
his associates were not to blame for failure to provide bread that
all this unanticipated multitude of toilers should eat. And yet a
failure there has been. No one who has not labored at the task of
trying to commend the Church of the Prayer Book to the working
class, as it is represented in our large manufacturing towns, can
know how lamentable that failure is. We gather in the rich and the
poor, but the great middle class that makes the staple and the
strength of American society stands aloof.

Nowhere in this country, for instance, has the Church had a better
opportunity to show what it could do for American people than in
the city of Lowell, where cotton spinning had its first large
development. It was a virgin soil: the Episcopal Church, as rarely
happens, was earliest on the ground: and not only so, but it enjoyed
for some years the friendly protection of the proprietors of the
new settlement, almost a religious monopoly--was, in fact, an
ecclesiastical preserve. Moreover, this beginning antedated the
Irish occupation by many years, at least so far as skilled labor
was concerned, for during a considerable period the operatives in
the mills were of native New England stock, the best possible
material to be made over into churchmen and churchwomen. And yet
notwithstanding all this, and notwithstanding the patient and
unintermitted toil through more than fifty years of perhaps the
most laborious parish priest on the American clergy list, the
Episcopal Church has to-day but a comparatively slender hold upon
the affections and loyalty of the people of this largest of the
manufacturing cities of New England.

A similar failure to "reach the masses" betrays itself in Worcester
and Fall River, the two cities of like character that come next in
order of population, for in the former of these last named places
only about two per cent, of the inhabitants have affiliations of
any sort with the Episcopal Church.

It was considerations of this sort, backed perhaps by memories of
the ringing appeal sounded three years before at Boston by the
Bishop of Connecticut, that moved the Convention to interpret as
something better than a bit of sentimentalism the invitation to
look the times in the face, and give the new century its infant

But besides all this there pressed upon the mind of bishops and
deputies a cumulative argument of a wholly different sort. The
demand for revision seemed to be closing in upon the Church on
converging lines. It was plain that, before long, hands of change
must necessarily be laid upon certain semi-detached portions of
the Prayer Book. There was the New Lectionary, for example, that
would presently be knocking for hospitable reception within the
covers, and the old Easter Tables, as they now stand, could not, it
was observed, last very much longer. A new book, in the publisher's
sense of that term, would soon have to be made. The sanctity of
stereotype plates must be disturbed. Moreover, here was an admirable
opportunity to settle the wrangle, now of nine years' standing, over
the best way of bringing to pass shortened services for week-day
use. Add to this the fact that the intrinsic weakness of the driblet
method of revision[9] had been made so abundantly plain that even
its former friends wisely refrained from all attempt to urge it,
and our summing up of probable motives becomes approximately

II. As to the measure of authority conferred on, and scope allowed
to the Committee of Twenty-one, it is possible to speak with more

A precisian might of course, were he so disposed, take up the ground
that the report of the Committee when made ought to be monosyllabic,
"Yes" or "No." The wording of the resolution admits of such a
construction beyond a doubt; the Joint Committee was requested to
consider and report whether, etc., etc. But no one who listened to
the debate on the resolution could have been left in uncertainty
as to the real _animus_ of the measure. The thing intended to be
authorized was an experimental review, with implied reference to a
limited revision at some time future, in case the fruits of the
review should commend themselves to the mind of the Church.

A distinction must be drawn between revision and review. Revision
implies review as an antecedent step, but review is by no means
necessarily followed by revision. The English book was reviewed and
revised in 1662; it was reviewed but not revised in 1689. Review is
tentative and advisory; revision is authoritative and final. In the
present instance not an atom of power to effect binding change has
been conveyed. No authority has been given to anybody to touch a
line or a letter of the Prayer Book save in the way of suggestion
and recommendation. Responsible action has been held wholly in

Moreover, even the pathway of review was most scrupulously hedged.
Applying to the resolution the legal maxim, _expressio unius est
exclusio alterius_, one sees at a glance that doctrinal change is a
matter left wholly on one side. The two points to which the
Committee is instructed to bend all its studies are "liturgical
enrichment" and "increased flexibility of use." Whatsoever is
more than these is irrelevant. Accurate distinguishment between
such "enrichments" as have and such as have not a doctrinal bearing
is, no doubt, a delicate point, and must be set down among the
difficulties to be encountered. As such it will be considered
further on. For the present the fact to be noted is that the
authorized reviewers are both in honor and in duty bound to keep
themselves absolutely clear of controversial bias. The movement
is not a movement to alter in any slightest respect the dogmatic
teaching of the Church, not a movement to unsettle foundations,
not a movement toward disowning or repudiating our past, but simply
and only an endeavor to make the Common Prayer, if possible (and
we are far from being sure, as yet, that it is possible), a better
thing of its kind, more comprehensive, more elastic, more readily
responsive to the demands of all occasions and the needs of "all
sorts and conditions of men." Some who are deeply persuaded that
only by doctrinal revision in one direction or another can the
Prayer Book be made thoroughly to commend itself to the heart and
mind of the American people will esteem the measure of change
above indicated not worth the effort indispensable to the attainment
of it. Be it so; other some there are who do think the attempt
well advised and who are willing to waive their own pet notions
as to possible doctrinal improvements of the book for the sake of
securing a _consensus_ upon certain great practical improvements
which come within the range of things attainable.

Certain it is that any attempt of a body of reviewers like this to
disturb, even by "shadowed hint," the existing doctrinal settlement
under which we are living together, would be resented by the whole

There are divines among us who in the interest of a more sharply
defined orthodoxy are conscientiously bent upon securing the
reintroduction among our formularies of the so-called Athanasian

There are others who consider that a more damaging blow at the
catholicity of our dogmatic position as a Church could scarcely
be dealt.

Again, there are theologians who account the Prayer Book to be
so thoroughly saturated in all its parts with the sacramental
idea, that they would account it not only a piece of far-seeing
statesmanship, but also a perfectly safe procedure to allow those
who chose to do so to thank God after a child's baptism for the
simple fact that he had thereby been "grafted into the body of
Christ's Church."

But over against these stand a much larger number who think
nothing of the sort, and who would put up with the liturgical
shortcomings of the Prayer Book, go without "enrichments" for
a thousand years, rather than see the single word "regenerate"
dropped out of the post-baptismal office.

Sensible men not a few are to be found who hold that the incoming
tide of host-worship with which, as they conceive, our reformed
Church is threatened can never be stayed unless some carefully
contrived definition inserted in the Prayer Book shall make
impossible this subtile and refined species of idolatry. But
men no whit less sensible laugh them in the face, pointing to
the "black rubric" and its history as evidence that between the
admitted doctrine of the real presence and the disallowed tenet
of transubstantiation no impervious barrier of words can possibly
be run.

These illustrations of probable divergence in opinion, in case
the field of doctrine were once entered, might be multiplied. The
retranslation of the Nicene Creed and the more accurate punctuation
of its sentences; the rendering of the word Sabbath in the Fourth
Commandment into its English equivalent of Rest; the abolition of
the curious misnomer under which we go on calling XXXVIII Articles
XXXIX; the removal from the Catechism, or else the conversion into
mother English of that sad _crux infantum_, the answer to the
question, "What desirest thou of God in this prayer?" are a few
examples of less importance than those previously cited; and yet,
in the case of the least of them, it is most unlikely that the
advocates of change would have the show of hands in their favor,
so sensitive is the mind of the Church to anything that looks in
the least degree like tampering with the standards of weight and
measure, the shekels of the sanctuary.

On the other hand, there are certain manifest and palpable instances
of inaccuracy and, more rarely, infelicity of diction which the
reviewers might very properly take occasion to amend even though
such alterations could not be classified by a strict constructionist
under either of the two heads "enrichment" and "flexibility." In the
masterly Report of the Rev. Dr. T. W. Coit to the Joint Committee
appointed by the Convention of 1841 to prepare a Standard Prayer
Book,[10] a document of classical rank, there is more than one
intimation of the hope that future reviewers would be given a larger
liberty in this direction than he had himself enjoyed. He chafed,
and naturally enough, under the necessity of reprinting in a
"standard" book, evident and acknowledged solecisms and blunders.
"We wanted," he says, "to correct one ungrammatical clause in the
Consecration Prayer of the Communion Service. It is in the last
sentence but one, at its close. It should be, not that he may dwell
in them and they in him; but, that he may dwell in us and we in him.
The prayer is made up out of two or three others; and anyone who
will examine the parts put together will easily see how the thing
was overlooked. A much greater error was overlooked elsewhere,
showing that our American compilers were not sufficiently aware of
the necessity which requires that the Prayer Book should always be
consistent with itself. I allude to something in the office for the
Private Baptism of Children. Suppose a clergyman to avail himself of
the license given in the Rubric after the certification. He will then
be made to talk thus: 'As the Holy Gospel doth witness to our
comfort, on this wise--Dost thou in the name of this child,'" etc.[11]

Other cases of evident inaccuracy, besides those referred to by
this eminent critic, might be cited, even from the latest Standard
Prayer Book, that of 1871. It is hard, for instance, to imagine even
the veriest martinet in such matters objecting to the redress of a
great wrong done on page 36 of the volume mentioned, where the
prayer "to be used at the meetings of Convention" is entered under
the general heading, "For malefactors after condemnation." Our
ecclesiastical legislators have doubtless, like the rest of us,
"erred and strayed" more than once, but to deal out to them such
harsh measure as this is cruel.

A strange uncertainty would seem from the Rubric to exist with
reference to the limits of the Litany. On page 554 of the Standard
Prayer Book, the words, "Here endeth the Litany," occur immediately
after the prayer, "We humbly beseech thee, O Father," while on page
31 the same statement is placed immediately after the minor

These are not faults for which it could ever be worth while to
revise a Prayer Book, but they are blemishes of which the revisers
of a Prayer Book ought to take note.

It is a graver matter to speak of infelicities of diction in a book
so justly famous as the Prayer Book for its pure and wholesome
English. Wordsworth's curse on

  One who would peep and botanize
  Upon his mother's grave

seems, in the judgment of many, fairly earned by the critic, whoever
he may be, who ventures to suggest that in any slightest instance
the language of the formularies might have been more happily
phrased. But there are spots on the sun. In the prayer already
referred to, that for use "at the meetings of Convention," the
petition, "We beseech thee to be _present_ with the council of thy
Church here assembled in thy name and _presence_" does seem open
to the charge of tautology if nothing worse.

It would be well if wherever the word occurs in the Prayer Book
in connection with Deity the anthropomorphic plural "ears" could
be replaced by the symbolic singular "ear."

Considering also the great evil of having in a formulary of worship
too many things that have to be laboriously explained, it might be
well if in the Litany the adjective "sudden," which ever since
Hooker's day has given perpetual occasion for cavil, were to yield
to "untimely," or some like word more suggestive than "sudden" of
the thought clumsily expressed in the "Chapel Liturgy" by the
awkward phrase, "death unprepared for."[12]

It must be again remarked that these are not points for the sake
of which word-fanciers would be justified in disturbing an existing
order of things; they are simply instances of lesser improvements
that might very properly accompany larger ones, should larger ones
ever be seriously undertaken.

With so many pegs upon which controversies might be hung staring
us in the face, can we think of it as at all likely that any
considerable number of Churchmen assembled in committee (to say
nothing of Convention) will be able to agree upon a common line
of action with reference to an amendment of the formularies?

That is the very point at issue, and how it is to be decided only
the event can show. Certainly in the roll of the victories of
charity, a favorable result, were it achieved, would stand exceeding

This reflection naturally leads up to the inquiry whether there is
any special reason to consider the present a happy moment to
attempt within the limits already defined a revision of the Prayer

III. The argument for timeliness has been, in part, already stated.
A revision will be timely, if the times imperatively demand it;
and the main reasons for thinking that they do are before the
reader. Something, however, is still left to be said in evidence
that the movement now begun is opportune--not rudely thrust upon
the Church. "To everything," saith the preacher, "there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under heaven," and among the categories
that follow this statement we find reckoned what answers to
liturgical enrichment, for "there is," he observes, "a time to
build up."

Fifty years ago a persuasive argument against attempting to amend
the Prayer Book, either in text or rubrics, might have been based
upon the lack of hands competent to undertake so delicate a task.
Raw material, well adapted to edification, was lying about in
blocks, but skilled workmen were scarce. This can hardly be said
to-day. Simultaneously with the beginning of the Oxford movement,
there naturally sprang up a fresh interest in liturgical studies,
an interest which has gone on deepening and widening until in volume
and momentum the stream has now probably reached its outer limit.
The convincing citation, "There were giants in those days," with
which a late bishop of one of the New England dioceses used to
enforce his major premise that wisdom died with Cranmer and his
colleagues, no longer satisfies. Probably no period of corresponding
length in the whole range of English Church history has shown itself
so rich in the fruits of liturgical study as the fifty years that
have elapsed since the introduction into the English Parliament of
the first Reform Bill.[13] This particular historical landmark is
mentioned on account of the close connection of cause and effect
between it and the remarkable movement set on foot by Newman, Pusey,
Keble, and Froude. To be sure, one of the earliest utterances in
the Tracts ran in these words: "Attempts are making to get the
Liturgy altered. My dear brethren, I beseech you consider with me
whether you ought not resist the alteration of even one jot or
tittle of it."[14]

And yet, notwithstanding this disclaimer, one of the main impulses
that lay behind the whole movement represented by the Tracts was an
earnest desire to quicken the life of the Church of England in the
region of worship. In the _Table of the Tracts, showing their
arrangement according to Subjects_, the "Liturgical" section comes

The present writer acknowledges but a very limited sympathy with
the doctrinal motives and aims of either the earlier or the later
Tractarians. But let us, above all things, be fair. With whatever
prepossessions one looks back upon it, the ground traversed by the
Church of England during the past fifty years cannot be otherwise
regarded than as a field sown with mingled tares and wheat.
Individuals will differ in judgment as to the proportion in which
these two products of a common soil have coexisted, but even those
who have most stoutly opposed themselves to the Oxford movement,
as a whole, are fain to credit it with, at least, this one good
result, the rescue of the usages of worship from slovenliness and
torpor, and the establishment of a better standard of what is
seemly, reverent, and beautiful in the public service of Almighty
God. Not that there have not been, even in this respect, grave
errors in the direction of excess; the statement ventured is simply
this, that, up to a certain point, all Churchmen agree in admitting
a genuine and wholesome improvement in the popular estimate of what
public worship, as such, ought to be. An immense amount of devout
study has been given, during the period mentioned, by many able men
to liturgical subjects, and it would be strange indeed if fifty
years of searching criticism had not resulted in the detection of
some few points in which formularies originally compiled to meet
the needs of the sixteenth century might be better adapted to the
requirements of the twentieth. Or, to put the same point in another
way, has not all this searching into the mines of buried treasure,
all this getting together of quarried stone (with possibly a certain
surplusage of stubble) been so much labor lost, if there is never to
come the recognition of a ripe moment for the Church to avail itself
of the results achieved? Are the studious toils of a Palmer, a
Maskell, a Neale, a Scudamore, and a Bright to go for nothing
except in so far as they have been contributory to our fund of
ecclesiological lore? If so, the contempt often expressed for ritual
and liturgical studies by students busy with other lines of research
would seem to be not wholly undeserved.

A good opportunity is now before the Church to give answer as to
whether this form of investigation is or is not anything better
than a species of sacred antiquarianism. Liturgiology as an aspirant
for recognition among the useful sciences may be said at the present
moment to be waiting for the verdict. To be sure, it can be asserted
for liturgiology that to those who love it it is a study that proves
itself, like poetry, "its own exceeding great reward." It is not
worth while to dispute this point. Liturgiology pursued for its own
sake may not be the loftiest of studies, but this, at least, can be
said for it, that it is a not less respectable object of pursuit
than many another specialty the devotees of which look down upon the
liturgiologist with self-complacent scorn as a mere chiffonier. The
forms which Christian worship has taken on in successive generations
and among peoples of various blood are certainly as well worthy of
analysis and classification as are the flora and fauna of Patagonia
or New Zealand. But while the Patagonian naturalist secures
recognition and is decorated, every jaunty man of letters feels
at liberty to scoff at the liturgiologist as a laborious trifler.

Moreover, remembering that in favorite studies, as in crops, there
rules a principle of rotation, fashion affecting even staid divines
with its subtle influence, we may look to see presently a decline
of interest in this particular department of inquiry. Especially
may serious men be expected to turn their attention in other
directions, should it be found that a _Non possumus_ awaits every
effort to make the fruits of their labor available for the
nourishment of the Church's daily life. So then, instead of
deferring action until liturgical knowledge shall have become
more widely spread, and available liturgical material more abundant,
we shall, if we are wise, perceive that only by moving promptly
will it be possible in this case to take the tide at the full.
Never again will opportunity be more ripe.

Another evidence of timeliness is supplied by the present pacific
condition of the Church. Previous movements toward liturgical
revision have been of a more or less partisan and acrimonious
temper. Now for the first time we seem to be taking up this subject
without the expression of a fear from any quarter that if changes
are made this or that party will get the advantage of some other.
The peculiar conditions that ensure this unwonted truce of God are
not likely to last forever, nor is it perhaps wholly desirable that
they should do so; what is desirable, and very desirable, is that
we should avail ourselves of the lull to accomplish certain changes
for the better, which in ordinary times the prevalent heat of
friction makes impossible. The Joint Committee of Twenty-one is
confidently believed to contain within itself every shade of color
known to belong to the Anglican spectrum; if white light should be
found to emerge, three years hence, as a result of the Committee's
labors, it will be said, and truly, that never before in our history
could such a blending of the rays possibly have taken place.

Still another consideration properly included under the general
head of timeliness is said to have been urged with much force in
the House of Bishops when the "enrichment" resolution was under

Up to the present time the Episcopal Church of this country has
stood easily at the head in the matter of providing for the people
a dignified and beautiful order of divine service. In fact, there
has been, until lately, no one to compete. But all this is changing.
Ours are no longer the only congregations in which common prayer is
to be found. It is true that thus far the attempts at imitation
have been rather grotesque than formidable, but such, until
recently, have also been, in the judgment of foreign critics,
all of our American endeavors after art. We are to consider what
apt learners our quick-witted countrymen have shown themselves to
be, in so much that even Christmas Day, once the _bete noire_ of
Puritan legislators, has come to be accounted almost a national
festival, and we shall be convinced that our primacy in the field
of liturgies is not an absolutely assured position. This argument
is open to the criticism that it seems to lower and cheapen the
whole subject by representing Anglican religion in a mendicant
attitude bidding for the favor of the great American public,
and vexed that others, fellow-suppliants, have stolen a good
formula of appeal. Nevertheless there is a certain amount of
reasonableness in this way of putting the thing. Certainly with
those who reckon the liturgical mode of worship among the notes
of the Church, the argument is one that ought to have marked
influence; while with those who, not so persuaded, nevertheless
view with pleased interest the general spread of a liturgical
taste among the people of this country, seeing in it a token
of better things to come, a harbinger of larger agreements
than we have yet attained to, and of an approaching "consolation
of Israel" once not thought possible--even with such the argument
ought not to be wholly powerless.[15]

The fact that the Convocations of Canterbury and York have taken
in hand and carried through a revision of the rubrics of the Prayer
Book will seem to those who hold that our Church ought to advance
_pari passu_ with the Church of England, and no faster, another
evidence of the timeliness of the American movement. Under the
title of _The Convocation Prayer Book_ there has lately appeared
in England an edition of the Prayer Book so printed as to show how
the book would read were the recommendations of York and Canterbury
to go into effect. It is true that the consent of Parliament must
be secured before the altered rubrics can have the force of law;
but whatever may come of the rubrics recommended, the existence of
the book containing them is evidence enough of a wide-spread
conviction among the English clergy that change is needed.

Indeed never has this point been more powerfully put in the fewest
possible words than by the brilliant, and no less logical than
brilliant Bishop of Peterborough in a recent speech in the Upper
House of Convocation.[16] "If the Church of England wants absolute
peace, she should have definite rubrics."

It is true he goes on to say that in his judgment the dangers of
carrying the question of rubrical revision into Parliament
are greater than the evil of letting it alone, but it is to be
remembered that we in this country are hampered with no Parliamentary
entanglements and are free to do of our own motion, and in a quiet,
orderly way, that which the Church of England can only do at the
risk of something very like revolution.

But this matter of the rubrics and their susceptibility of
improvement will come up later on. It seemed proper to refer
to it, if no more, under the head of timeliness. If nothing else
in the way of change be opportune at the present moment, it is an
easy task to show that the rubrics, as they stand, cry aloud for
a revision.

IV. The obstacles to be encountered by any Committee undertaking
so to carry forward a review of the Prayer Book that revision may
eventually result, are of two sorts; there are the inherent
difficulties of the work itself, such, for instance, as that of
matching the literary style of the sixteenth century writers, and
there is the wholesome dread of a change for the worse which
is sure to assert itself in many quarters the moment definite
propositions shall have reached a point at which the "yeas and
nays" are likely to be called.

Beginning, then, with the inherent difficulties, and taking them
in the inverse order of arduousness, we see at once how hard it
must be to secure unity and self-consistency in the revision of a
book so complicated as the Common Prayer. It is like remodelling
an old house. We think it a very easy matter, something that can
be done in one's head, but the mistake is discovered when the new
door designed to give symmetry to this room is found to have spoiled
the looks of that, when the enlargement of the library turns out
to have overtaxed the heating energy of the fireplace, and the
ingenious staircase, instead of ending where it was expected to
end, brings up against an intractable brick wall. Just such perils
as these will beset anybody who ventures to disturb the adjustments
of the "Prayer Book as it is" and to introduce desirable additions.
But domestic architecture is not given up on account of the patient
carefulness the practice of it demands, neither need Liturgical
Revision be despaired of because it requires of the men who
undertake it a like wisdom in looking before and after.

The really formidable barrier to revision, so far as what have been
called the "inherent difficulties" are concerned, is reached when
we touch style. How to handle without harming the sentences in which
English religion phrased itself when English language was fresher
and more fluent than it can ever be again is a serious question.
The hands that seek to "enrich" may well be cautioned to take heed
lest they despoil. It is to be remembered, however, in the way of
reassurance that the alterations most likely to find favor with the
reviewers are such as will enrich by restoring lost excellencies,
rather than by introducing forms fashioned on a modern anvil.

The most sensitive critic could not, on the score of taste, find
fault with the replacement in the Evening Prayer of the _Magnificat_
and the _Nunc dimittis_, nor of bringing back a few of the Versicles
that in the English book follow the Lord's Prayer, nor yet of our
being allowed to say, "Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, Lord,"
rather than "O Lord, our Heavenly Father, by whose Almighty power
we have been preserved this day." Objections to these alterations
may be readily imagined, but it would be necessary to base them on
other grounds than those of literary fastidiousness. In the case of
enrichments like these no one could raise the cry that the faultless
English of the Prayer Book had been marred.

But what shall be said of the composition of entirely new services
and offices, if it should be judged expedient to give admission to
any such? How can we be sure that such modern additions to the
edifice would be sufficiently in keeping with the general tone of
the elder architecture? It might be held to be an adequate answer
to these questions to reply that if the living Church cannot now
trust herself to speak out through her formularies in her natural
voice as she did venture to do in the seventeenth century and the
eighteenth, it must be that she has fallen into that stage of
decrepitude where the natural voice is uncertain.

But, really, what ought to be said is this--that if the same canons
of style that ruled the sixteenth century writers are studied and
obeyed, there is no reason in the world why a result equally
satisfactory with the one then attained should not be reached now.
There is nothing supernatural about the English of the Prayer Book.
Cranmer and his associates were not inspired. The prose style of
the nineteenth century may not be as good as that of the sixteenth,
but, at its best, it is vastly superior to eighteenth century style,
and of this last there are already no inconsiderable specimens in
the American Book of Common Prayer. The Office for the Visitation of
Prisoners, for example, is so redolent of the times of the Georges,
when it was composed, that it might be appropriately enough
interleaved with prints out of Hogarth. A bit of Palladian
architecture in a Gothic church is not more easily recognized.
Many worse things might happen to the Prayer Book than that the
nineteenth century should leave its impress upon the pages.

In fact, it is just as possible, if men will only think so, to use
our language with effect for any good purpose to-day as it was
three hundred years ago. All that is necessary is a willingness
to submit to the same restrictions, and those mostly moral, that
controlled the old writers; and our work, though not identical
with theirs, will have the proper similarity. True, a modern author
may not be able to reproduce, without a palpable betrayal of
affectation and mannerism, the precise characteristics of a bygone
style. Chattertons are not numerous. It is easier to secure for
the brass andirons and mahogany dining chairs of our own manufacture
the look of those that belonged to our grandfathers than it is to
catch the tones of voices long dead; and just as good judgment
dictates the wisdom of repeating the honest and thorough workmanship
of the old cabinet-makers in place of slavishly imitating their
patterns, so it will be well if the compilers of devotional forms
for modern use seek to say what they have to say with sixteenth
century simplicity rather than in sixteenth century speech. In
letters, as in conduct, the supreme charm of style is the absence
of self-consciousness. "Say in plain words the thing you mean, and
say it as if you meant it," is good advice to any seeker after
rhetorical excellence, be he young or old. The Reformers, that is
to say, the men who Englished the Prayer Book, in seeking to meet
the devotional needs of the people of their own time do not seem
to have been at pains to tie themselves to the diction of a previous
generation. They dared to "call a spade a spade" whenever and
wherever the tool came into use, and they have their reward in the
permanence of their work. Sweetnesses and prettinesses they banished
altogether. Indeed, in those days it seems not to have occurred
to people that such things had anything to do with religion. It
was not that they did not know how to talk in the sweet way--never
has sentimentalism been more rife in general literature than then,
but they would not talk in that way; the stern traditions of Holy
Church throughout all the world forbade. Religion was a most
serious thing to their minds, and they would speak of it most
seriously or not at all.

Never since language began to be used have severity and tenderness
been more marvellously blended than in the older portions of the
English Prayer Book.

This effect is largely due to an almost entire abstention on the
part of the writers from figurative language, or at least from all
imagery that is not readily recognized as Scriptural. Bread and
beef are what men demand for a steady diet. Sweetmeats are well
enough, now and then, but only now and then.

It is the failure to observe this plain canon of style that has
made shipwreck of many an attempt to construct liturgies _de novo_.
Ambitious framers of forms of worship seem almost invariably to
forget that there may be such a thing as a too exquisite prayer,
an altogether too "eloquent address to the throne of grace." The
longest and fullest supplicatory portion of the Prayer Book, the
Litany, does not contain, from the first sentence to the last,[17]
one single figurative expression, it is literally plain English
from beginning to end; but could language be framed more intense,
more satisfying, more likely to endure?

Scriptural metaphor, whether because it comes to us with the stamp
of authority or on account of some subtle intrinsic excellence, it
may be difficult to say, does not pall upon the taste. And yet even
this is used sparingly in the Prayer Book, some of the most striking
exceptions to the general rule being afforded by the collects for
the first and third Sundays in Advent, the collects for the Epiphany
and Easter Even, and the opening prayer in the Baptismal Office. All
these are instances of strictly Scriptural metaphor, and moreover
it is to be kept in mind that they are designed for occasional, not
constant use. In the orders for daily Morning and Evening Prayer,
the "lost sheep" of the General Confession and the "dew" of God's
blessing in the Collect for Clergy and People are almost the sole,
if not the sole cases of evident metaphor, and these again are
Scriptural. When in Jeremy Taylor's prayer, introduced by the
American revisers into the Order for the Visitation of the Sick,
we come upon the comparison of human life to a "vale of misery" we
feel that somehow we have struck a new current in the atmosphere;
for the moment it is the rhetorician who speaks, and no longer the
earnest seeker after God.

Besides this freedom from figures of speech, we notice in the
style of Prayer Book English a careful avoidance of whatever looks
like a metaphysical abstraction. The aim is ever to present God
and divine things as realities rather than as mere concepts or
notions of the mind. So far as the writer remembers, not a single
prayer in the whole book begins with that formula so dear to the
makers of extemporary forms of devotion, "O Thou." On the contrary,
the approach to the Divine Majesty is almost always made with a
reference to some attribute or characteristic that links Deity to
man and man's affairs; it is "O God, the Protector of all that
trust in thee," or "Almighty and everlasting God who of thy tender
love toward mankind," or "Lord of all power and might who art the
author and giver of all good things."

Cardinal Newman in one of his theological works written before
his departure from the Church of England, has a powerful passage
bearing upon this point. He is criticising the evangelicals for
their one-sided way of setting forth what it must mean to "preach
the Gospel." No less a person than Legh Richmond is the object of
his strictures.

"A remarkable contrast between our Church's and this false view of
religion," he says, "is afforded in the respective modes of treating
a death-bed in the Visitation of the Sick, and a popular modern
work, the Dairyman's Daughter. The latter runs thus: My dear friend,
do you not FEEL _that you are supported_? The Lord deals very gently
with me, she replied. Are not his promises _very precious to you?_
They are all yea and amen in Christ Jesus.. . Do you experience any
_doubts or temptations_ on the subject of your eternal safety? No,
sir; the Lord deals very gently with me and gives me peace. What
are your _views_ of the dark valley of death now that you are
passing through it? _It is not dark_. Now, if it be said that
such questions and answers are not only in their place innocent
but natural and beautiful, I answer that this is not the point,
but this, viz., they are evidently intended, whatever their merits,
as a pattern of what _death-bed examinations should be_. Such is
the Visitation of the Sick in the nineteenth century. Now let us
listen to the nervous and stern tone of the sixteenth. In the Prayer
Book the minister is instructed to say to the person visited:
Forasmuch as after this life there is an account to be given to
the _Righteous Judge_ . . . I require you to examine yourself and
your estate both toward God and man. Therefore I shall rehearse to
you the _Articles of our Faith_, that you may know whether you do
believe as a Christian man should or no . . . 'Then shall the
minister examine whether he repent him truly of his sins, and be
in _charity_ with all the world: exhorting him to forgive from the
bottom of his heart all persons who have offended him, and if he
hath offended any other to _ask their forgiveness_, and where he
hath done injury or wrong to any man that he _make amends_ to the
utmost of his power.' . . . Such is the contrast between the dreamy
talk of modern Protestantism, and 'holy fear's stern glow' in the
Church Catholic."[18]

In this striking, though perhaps somewhat unnecessarily harsh way,
Newman brings out a point which is unquestionably true, namely,
that the language of the Prayer Book is of the sort which it is
just now the fashion to call realistic, that is, a language
conversant with great facts rather than with phases of feeling
and moods of mind; which after all is only another way of saying
that it is a Book of Common Prayer and not a manual for the
furtherance of spiritual introspection.

These, then, are the characteristics of the Prayer Book style:
it is simple, straightforward, unmetaphorical, realistic. Seriously
it looks almost like a studied insult alike to the scholarship and
to the religion of our day, to say that these are excellencies
attainable no longer. That revisers venturing upon additions to
the Prayer Book would be bound to set the face as a flint against
any slightest approach to sentimentality is true. But why assume
that the men do not exist who are capable of such a measure of
self-control? Grant that there are whole volumes of devotional
matter, original and compiled, which one may ransack without
finding a single form that is not either prolix, wishy-washy, or
superstitious--it does not follow that if the Prayer Book is to
be enriched, the enrichments must necessarily come from such
sources. Moreover it is to be remembered that there is another
vice of style to be shunned in liturgical composition quite as
carefully as sentimentality, namely, jejuneness. We cannot escape
being sentimental simply by being dull. Feeling must not be denied
its place in prayer for fear that it may not prove itself a duly
chastened feeling. There ought to be a heart of fire underneath
the calm surface of every formulary of worship. Flame and smoke
are out of place; but a liturgy should glow throughout. Coldness,
pure and simple, has no place in devotion.

Over and above the intrinsic difficulties in the way of revision
growing out of the delicate nature of the work itself, obstacles
of a different sort are certain to be encountered. In so large a
body of men as the Joint Committee of the two Houses, entire and
cordial agreement is almost too much to be expected; and then even
supposing a unanimous report submitted, what is likely to follow?
Why this--if the changes proposed are few, the cry will be raised,
It surely is not worth while to alter the Prayer Book for the sake
of so insignificant a gain; whereas if the changes proposed are
considerable, the counter cry will be sounded, This is revolution.

Then there is the anxious question, How will it look to the English?
What will be the effect on the _Concordat_ if we touch the Prayer
Book? To be sure, the Concordat does not seem to weigh very heavily
on the shoulders of the other party, as indeed there is no reason
why it should. Convocation does not much disturb itself as to the
view General Convention is likely to take of its sayings and doings,
and even disestablishment might proceed without our being called
into consultation. And yet the Concordat difficulty will have to
be reckoned with; and the dire spectre of a possible disowning of
us by our mother the Church of England will have to be laid, before
any alterations in the Book of Common Prayer will be accounted by
some among us perfectly safe.

But it is scarcely worth while to go on gratuitously suggesting
opposition arguments. They will be sure to present themselves
unsolicited in due time. For the present it is enough to add that
if the movement for liturgical revision has not in it enough
toughness of fibre to enable it to survive vigorous attack, it
does not deserve success.

V. Under the head of liturgical enrichment ought to be classed
whatever alteration would really serve to enhance the beauty,
majesty, or fitness, of accepted formularies of worship. Excision
may, under conceivable circumstances, be enrichment. James Wyatt
undoubtedly imagined that he was improving the English cathedrals
when he whitewashed their interiors, added composition pinnacles
to the west towers of Durham, and rearranged the ancient monuments
of Salisbury; but an important part of the enrichment accomplished
by our nineteenth century restorers has lain simply in the undoing
of what Wyatt did.

Again, substitution may be enrichment, as in the case where a
wooden spire built upon a stone tower is taken down to be replaced
by honest work. It would be an enrichment if in St. George's Chapel,
the central shrine of British royalty, the sham insignia now
overhanging the stalls of the knights of the garter were to give
room to genuine armor. Not merely then by addition, but possibly,
in some instances, by both subtraction and substitution, we may
find the "Prayer-book as it is" open to improvement.

Before, however, entering upon any criticism of the formularies
in detail, it is important to draw a distinction between two very
different things, namely, the structure of a liturgical office and
the contents of it. By structure should be understood the skeleton
or frame that makes the groundwork of any given office, by contents
the actual liturgical material employed in filling out the office
to its proper contour.

The offices of the Roman Breviary, for example, continue, for the
most part, identical in structure from day to day, the year through;
but they vary in contents. For an illustration nearer home take
our own _Order for Daily Morning Prayer_. The structure of it
is as follows: 1. Sentences, 2. Exhortation, 3. Confession, 4.
Absolution, 5. Lord's Prayer, 6. Versicles, 7. Invitatory Psalm,
8. The Psalms for the day, 9. Lection, 10. Anthem or Canticle, 11.
Lection, 12. Anthem or Canticle, 13. Creed, 14. Versicles,
15. Collect for the day, 16. Stated Collects and Prayers, 17.

Now it is evident that without departing by a hair's breadth from
the lines of this framework, an indefinite number of services might
by a process of substitution be put together, each one of which
would in outward appearance differ widely from every other one.
The identical skeleton, that is to say, might be so variously
clothed upon that no two of its embodiments would be alike. But
is it desirable to run very much after variety of such a sort in a
book of prayer designed for common use? Most assuredly, No. To
jeopard the supreme _desideratum_ in a people's manual of worship,
simplicity: to make it any harder than it now is for the average
"stranger in the Church" to find the places, would be on the part
of revisionists an unpardonable blunder.

There are, however, a few points at which the Morning Prayer
might advantageously be enriched, and no risk run. It would
surely add nothing to the difficulty of finding the places if
for one-half of the present opening sentences there were to be
substituted sentences appropriate to special days and seasons of
the ecclesiastical year. We should in this way be enabled to
give the key-note of the morning's worship at the very outset.
Having once departed, as in the case of our first two sentences,
from the English precedent of putting only penitential verses of
Scripture to this use, there is no reason why we should not
carry out still more fully in our selection the principle of
appropriateness. The sentences displaced need not be lost, for
they might still stand, as now, at the opening of the Evening

Passing on to the declarations of absolution there is an opportunity
to simplify the arrangement by omitting the alternate form borrowed
from the Order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper, where
only it properly belongs. This, however, is a change likely to be
resisted on doctrinal grounds, and need not be urged.

Coming to the _Venite_, we find another opportunity to accentuate
the Christian Year. It may be said that the rubric, as it is already
written, allows for the substitution of special anthems on the
greater festivals and fasts. This is true; but by giving the anthem
for Easter a place of honor, while relegating anthems for the other
great days to an unnoticed spot between the Selections and the
Psalter, the American compilers did practically discriminate in
favor of Easter and against the rest. The real needs of the case
would be more wisely met if the permission to omit _Venite_ now
attached to "the nineteenth day of the month" were to be extended
to Ash-Wednesday and Good Friday, and special New Testament anthems
analagous to the Easter one were to be inserted along with the
respective Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, for Christmas-day and

By this change we should put each of the three great festivals of
the year into possession of an invitatory anthem of its own; and we
should obviate on the fasting days, by the simple expedient of
omission, the futile efforts of choir-master and organist to
transform _Venite_ from a cry of joy into a moan of grief.

This brings us to the Psalter. Here we have an opportunity to
correct the palpable blunder by which it has come about that the
greatest of the penitential psalms, the fifty-first, has no place
assigned it among the proper psalms either for Ash-Wednesday or
for Good Friday.[19] It would also be well to make optional, if
not obligatory, the use of "proper psalms" on days other than those
already provided with them; _e_. _g_., Advent Sunday, the Epiphany,
Easter Even, Trinity Sunday, and All Saints' Day.[20] There would
be a still larger gain in the direction of "flexibility of use,"
as well as a great economy of valuable space, if instead of
reprinting some thirty of the Psalms of David under the name of
Selections, we were to provide for allowing "select" psalms to be
announced by number in the same manner that "proper" psalms are
now announced. Instead of only the ten selections we now have,
there might then be made available twenty or thirty groups of
psalms at absolutely no sacrifice of room. It has been objected
to this proposal that the same difficulty which now attaches to
the finding of the "proper psalms" on great days would embarrass
congregations whenever "select psalms" were given out; but this
is fairly met by the counter consideration that if our people were
to be educated by the use of select psalms into a more facile
handling of the Psalter it would be just so much gained for days
when the "proper psalms" must of necessity be found and read. The
services, that is to say, would run all the more smoothly on the
great days, after congregations had become habituated, on ordinary
days, to picking out the psalms by number.

Another step in the line of simplification, and one which it is
in order to mention here, would be the removal from the Morning
Prayer of _Gloria in Excelsis_, seeing that it is never, or almost
never, sung at the end of the psalms unless at Evening Prayer. As
to the expediency of restoring what has been lost of _Benedictus_
after the second lesson, the present writer offers no opinion.
There are some who warmly advocate the replacement, and there is,
unquestionably, much to be said in favor of it. It is unlikely
that any doctrinal motive dictated the abbreviation.

Pausing a moment at the Creeds for the insertion of a better title
than "_Or this_" before the confession of Nicaea, we pass to the
versicles that follow.

Here again it would be enrichment to restore the words of the
English book, although the task of finding an equally melodious
equivalent for _O Lord, save the Queen_ might not be easy.

Happily the other versicles are such as no civil revolution can
make obsolete. It will never be amiss to pray,

_Endue thy ministers with righteousness_.

Answer. _And make thy chosen people joyful_.

These are all the alterations for which the present Morning Prayer
considered as a form of Divine Service for Sundays would seem to
call. It will be observed that they are far from being of a radical
character, that they affect the structure of the office not at
all, and touch the contents of it but slightly.

The case is altered when we come to the Order for Evening Prayer.
Here there is a demand, not indeed for any structural change, but
for very decided enrichment by substitution. The wording of the
office is altogether too exact an echo of what has been said only
a few hours before in Morning Prayer. It betokens a poverty of
resources that does not really exist, when we allow ourselves thus
to exhort, confess, absolve, intercede, and give thanks in the
very same phrases at three in the afternoon that were on our lips
at eleven in the morning.

Doubtless liturgical worship owes a good measure of its charm to
the subtle power of repetition; but the principle is one that must
be handled and applied with the most delicate tact, or virtue goes
out of it. We must distinguish between similarity and sameness.
The ordered recurrence of accents is what makes the rhythm of
verse; but for all that, there is a difference between poetry and
sing-song, just as there is a difference between melody and monotony.
Moreover, the taste of mankind undergoes change as to the sorts of
repetition which it is disposed to tolerate. No modern poet of
standing would venture, for instance, to employ identical epithets
to the extent that Homer does, making Aurora "rosy-fingered"
every time she appears upon the scene, and Juno as invariably
"ox-eyed." People were pleased with it then, they would not be
pleased with it now. It is possible in liturgies so to employ
the principle of repetition that no wearying sense of sameness
will be conveyed, and again it is possible so to mismanage it
as to transform worship into something little better than a
"slow mechanic exercise." Mere iteration, as such, is barren
of spiritual power; witness the endless sayings over of _Kyrie
Eleison_ in the Oriental service-books, a species of vain repetition
which a liturgical writer of high intelligence rightly characterizes
as "unmeaning, if not profane."[21] Now the common popular
criticism upon the Evening Prayer of the Church is that it repeats
too slavishly the wording of the Morning Prayer. If this is an
unjust criticism we ought not to let ourselves be troubled by it.
On the other hand, if it is a just criticism it will be much wiser
of us to heed than to stifle the voice that tells us the truth.
It might seem to be straining a point were one to venture to explain
the present very noticeable disinclination of Churchmen to attend
a second service on Sunday, by connecting it with the particular
infelicity in question; but that the excuse, We have said all this
once to-day; why say it again? may possibly have something, even
if not much, to do with the staying at home is certainly a fair

Without altering at all the structure of the Evening Prayer, it
would be perfectly possible so to refill or reclothe that formulary
as to give it the one thing needful which now it lacks--freshness.
In such a process the _Magnificat_ and the _Nunc dimittis_ would
play an important part; as would also certain "ancient collects"
of which we have heard much of late. Failing this, the next best
thing (and the thing, it may be added, much more likely to be done,
considering what a tough resistant is old usage) would be the
provision of an alternate and optional form of Evening Prayer, to
be used either in lieu of, or as supplementary to the existing
office. In the framing of such a _Later Evensong_ a larger freedom
would be possible than in the refilling of a form the main lines
of which were already fixed. Still, the first plan would be better,
if only it could be brought within the range of things possible.

Next to Evening Prayer in the order of the Table of Contents comes
the Litany. Here there is no call for enrichment,[22] though
increased flexibility of use might be secured for this venerable
form of intercessory prayer by prefixing to it the following rubric
abridged from a similar one proposed in The Convocation Prayer

"_A General Supplication, to be sung or said on Sundays, Wednesdays,
and Fridays, and on the Rogation Days, after the third collect at
Morning or Evening Prayer, or before the Administration of the Holy
Communion; or as a separate Service_.

"_NOTE.--The Litany may be omitted altogether on Christmas Day,
Easter Day, and Whitsunday_"

In connection with the Morning and Evening Service there is another
important question that imperatively demands discussion, namely, a
week-day worship. The movement for "shortened services," so-called,
has shared the usual fate of all efforts at bettering the life of
the Church, in being at the outset of its course widely and seriously
misunderstood. The impression has gone abroad, and to-day holds
possession of many otherwise well-informed people, that a large
and growing party in the Episcopal Church has openly declared
itself wearied out with overmuch prayer and praise. Were such
indeed the fact, the scandal would be grave; but the real truth
about the matter is that the promoters of shortened services,
instead of seeking to diminish, are really eager to see multiplied
the amount of worship rendered in our churches. "Shortened services"
is a phrase of English, not American origin, and has won its way
here by dint of euphony rather than of fitness. Readjusted services,
though a more clumsy, would be a less misdirecting term. In the
matter of Sunday worship, the liberty now generally conceded of
using separately the Morning Prayer, the Litany, and the Holy
Communion is all that need be asked. Whether these services, or
at least two of them, do not in themselves admit of a certain
measure of improvement is a point that has already been considered,
but there certainly is no need of shortening them, whatever else
it may be thought well to do. When what a Boston worthy once termed
"a holy alacrity" is observed, on the part of both minister and
singers, even the aggregated services of Morning Prayer, Litany,
and "Ante-Communion," together with a sermon five-and-twenty minutes
long, can easily be brought within the compass of an hour and a
half--a measure of time not unreasonably large to be given to the
principal occasion of worship on the Lord's Day. As for the Evening
Prayer--there certainty ought to be no call for the shortening of
that on Sundays; for it would be scarcely decent or proper to devote
to such a service anything less than the half hour the existing
office demands.

What the advocates of shortened services really desire to see
furthered is an increase in the frequency of opportunities for
worship during the week, their conviction being that if the Church
were to authorize brief services for morning and evening use, such
as would not occupy much more time than family prayers ordinarily
do, the attendance might be secured of many who, at present, put
aside the whole question of going to church on week-days as
impracticable. Supposing it could be proved that such a provision
would work to the discouragement of family prayer, it would plainly
be wrong to advocate it; no priesthood is more sacred than that
which comes with fatherhood. But we must face the fact that in our
modern American life family prayer, like sundry other wholesome
habits, has fallen largely into disuse. If the Church can, in any
measure, supplement the deficiencies of the household, and help
to supply to individuals a blessing they would gladly enjoy at
their own homes, if they might, it is her plain duty to do so.
Moreover, many a minister who single-handed cannot now prudently
undertake a daily service, as that is commonly understood, would
acknowledge himself equal to the less extended requirement.

Not a few careful and friendly observers of the practical working
of Anglican religion have been reluctantly led to consider the daily
service, as an institution, only meagrely successful. Looking at
the matter historically we find no reason to wonder at such a

Our existing usage (or more correctly, perhaps, _non-user_) dates
from the Reformation period. The English Church and nation of that
day had grown up familiar with the spectacle of a very large body
of clerics, secular and regular, whose daily occupation may be said
to have been the pursuit of religion.[23] The religion pursued
consisted chiefly in the saying of prayers, and very thoroughly,
so far at least as the consumption of time was concerned, were the
prayers said. What more natural than that, under such circumstances,
and with such associations, the compilers of a common Prayer Book
for the people should have failed to see any good reason for
discriminating between the amount of service proper to the Lord's
Day and the amount that might be reasonably expected on other days?
Theoretically they were right, all time belongs to God and he is
as appropriately worshipped on Tuesdays and Thursdays as on Sundays.
And yet as a result of their making no such discrimination, we have
the daily service on our hands--a comparative, even if not an utter
failure. We may lament the fact, but a fact it is, that In spite
of all its improved appliances for securing leisure, the world is
busier than ever it was; and there will always be those who will
insist that the command to labor on six days is as imperative as
the injunction to rest upon the seventh. As a consequence of all
this accelerated business, and of the diminution in the number of
persons officially set apart for prayer, the unabridged service of
the Church fails to command a week-day attendance. We have no
"clerks" nowadays to fill the choir. The only clerks known to modern
times are busy at their desks.

It may be urged in reply to this that the practical working of the
daily service ought to be kept a secondary consideration, and that
its main purpose is symbolical, or representative; the priest
kneeling in his place, day by day, as a witness that the people,
though unable personally to be present, do, in heart and mind,
approve of a daily morning and evening sacrifice of prayer. This
conception of the daily service as a vicarious thing has a certain
mystical beauty about it, but if it is to be adopted as the Church's
own let us, at least, clear ourselves of inconsistency by striking
out the word "common" from before the word "prayer" in characterizing
our book.

What is really needed for daily use in our parishes is a short form
of worship specially framed for the purpose. If they could be
employed without offence to the Protestant ear (and they are good
English Reformation words) _Week-Day Matins_ and _Week-Day Evensong_
would not be ill chosen names for such services. The framework of
these Lesser Orders for Morning and Evening Prayer, as they might
also be called, were the other titles found obnoxious, ought to be
modelled upon the lines of the existing daily offices, though with
a careful avoidance of identity in contents. There should be, for
instance, as unvarying elements, the reading of the lessons for the
day, the use of the collect for the day, and the saying or singing
of the psalms for the day. Another constant would be the Lord's
Prayer; but aside from these the _Lesser Order_ need have nothing
in common with the Order as we have it now. There might be, for
example, after the manner of the old service-books, an invitatory
opening with versicles and responses, or if the present mode of
opening by sentences were preferred, specially chosen sentences,
different from those with which the Sunday worship has made us
familiar, could be employed. Moreover, the anthems or canticles
and the prayers, with the exception of the two just mentioned,
ought also to be distinctive, and, in the technical sense of the
word, _proper_ to the week-day use.

Again, it would serve very powerfully and appropriately to emphasize
the pivot points in the ritual year if this same principle were to
be applied to saints' days, and we were to have special _Holyday
Matins_ and _Holy-day Evensong_, there still being required, on the
greater festivals and fasts, the normal Morning and Evening Prayer
proper to the Lord's Day.[24]

The argument in favor of thus specializing the services for week-days
and holydays, in preference to following the only method heretofore
thought possible, namely, that of shortening the Lord's Day Order,
rests on two grounds. In the first place permissions to skip and
omit are of themselves objectionable in a book of devotions. They
have an uncomely look. Our American Common Prayer boasts too many
disfigurements of this sort already.

Such a rubric as _The minister may, at his discretion, omit all
that follows to, etc. _, puts one in mind of the finger-post
pointing out a short cut to weary travellers. It is inopportune
thus to hint at exhaustion as the probable concomitant of worship.
That each form should have an integrity of its own, should as a
separate whole be either said complete or left unsaid, is better
liturgical philosophy than any "shortened services act" can show.

In the second place, a certain amount of variety would be secured
by the proposed method which under the existing system we miss.
There is, of course, such a danger as that of providing too much
liturgical variety. Amateur makers of Prayer Books almost invariably
fall into this slough. Hymn-books, as is well known, often destroy
their own usefulness by including too many hymns; and Prayer Books
may do the same by having too many prayers.[25]

To transgress in the compiling of formularies the line of average
memory, to provide more material than the mind of an habitual
worshipper is likely to assimilate, is to misread human nature.
But here, as elsewhere, there is a just mean. Cranmer and his
colleagues in the work of revision jumped at one bound from a
scheme which provided a distinctive set of services for every day
in the year to a scheme that assigned one stereotyped form to all

Now nothing could be more unwise than any attempt to restore the
methods of the Breviary, with its complicated and artificial forms
of devotion; but so far to imitate the Breviary as to provide within
limits for a recognition of man's innate love of change would be
wisdom. By having a distinctive service for week-days, and a
distinctive service for holydays, Ave might add just that little
increment to the Church's power of traction that in many instances
would avail to change "I cannot go to church this morning" into "I
cannot stay away."

It will be urged as a counter-argument to these considerations that
the thing is impossible, that such a measure of enrichment is
entirely in excess of anything the Church has expressed a wish
to have, and that for reviewers to propose a plan so sweeping would
be suicide. Doubtless this might be a sufficient answer to anybody
who imagined that by a bare majority vote of two successive General
Conventions new formularies of daily worship could be forced upon
the Church. But suppose such formularies were to be made _optional_;
suppose there were to be given to parishes the choice between these
three things, viz.: (_a_) the normal Morning Prayer; (_b_) a
shortened form of the normal Morning Prayer; and (_c_) such a
special order as has been sketched--what then? Would the Church's
liberty be impaired! On the contrary, would not the borders of that
liberty have been most wisely and safely widened by the steady hand
of law?

This is perhaps the right point at which to call attention to the
present state of the "shortened services" controversy, for wearisome
as the story has become by frequent repetition, the nexus between
it and the subject in hand is too important to be left out of sight.

In the General Convention of 1877, where the topic under its
American aspects was for the first time thoroughly discussed,
the two Houses came to a deadlock. The deputies on the one hand,
almost to a man, voted in favor of giving the desired relief by
rubric, thus postponing for three years' time the fruition of
their wish; while the bishops with a unanimity understood to have
been equally striking insisted that a simple canon, such as could
be passed at once, would suffice. And so the subject dropped.

At the late Convention of 1880 an eirenicon was discovered. The
quick eye of one of the legal members of the House of Deputies
detected on the fourth page of the Prayer Book, just opposite the
Preface, a loophole of escape, to wit, _The Ratification of the
Book of Common Prayer_. Here was the very _tertium quid_ whereby
the common wish of both parties to the dispute might be effected
without injury to the sensibilities of either.

The _Ratification_ certainly did not look like a canon; neither
could anybody with his eyes open call it a rubric--why not amend
that, and say no more about it? The suggestion prevailed, and by a
vote of both Houses, the following extraordinary document is
hereafter to stand (the next General Convention consenting) in
the very fore-front of the Prayer Book:

the Clergy, and the Laity of the Protestant   Episcopal Church in
General Convention assembled_.

The General Convention of the Church having heretofore, to wit:
on the sixteenth day of October in the year A. D. 1789, set forth
a _Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and
other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church_, and thereby established
the said book, and declared it to be the Liturgy of said Church,
and required that it be received as such by all the members of the
same and be in use from and after the first day of October in the
year of our Lord 1790; the same book is hereby ratified and
confirmed, and ordered to be the use of this Church from this
time forth.

"But note, however, that on days other than Sundays, Christmas-day,
the Epiphany, Ash-Wednesday, Good Friday, and Ascension Day, it
shall suffice if the Minister begins Morning or Evening Prayer at
the General Confession or the Lord's Prayer preceded by one or more
of the Sentences appointed at the beginning of Morning and Evening
Prayer, and end after the Collect for Grace or the Collect for Aid
against Perils, with 2 Cor. xiii. 14, using so much of the Lessons
appointed for the day and so much of the Psalter as he shall judge
to be for edification.

"And note also that on any day when Morning and Evening Prayer shall
have been duly said or are to be said, and on days other than those
first aforementioned, it shall suffice, when need may require, if
a sermon or lecture be preceded by at least the Lord's Prayer and
one or more Collects found in this book, provided that no prayers
not set forth in said book, or otherwise authorized by this Church,
shall be used before or after such sermon or lecture.[26]

"And note further also that on any day the Morning Prayer, the
Litany, or the Order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper
may be used as a separate and independent service, provided that
no one of these services shall be disused habitually."

It may seem harsh to characterize this act as the mutilation of a
monument; but really it does seem to be little else. The old
Ratification of 1789 is an historic landmark; it is the sign-manual
of the Church of White's and Seabury's day, and ought never to be
disturbed or tampered with while the Prayer Book stands. The year
1889 might very properly see a supplemental Ratification written
under it; and testifying to the fact of Revision; but to write into
that venerable text special directions as to what may be done on
days other than Ash-Wednesday, and what must not be done without
2 Cor. xiii. 14, is very much as if the City Government of Cambridge
should cause to be cut upon the stone under the Washington elm which
now records the fact that there the commander of the American armies
first drew his sword, divers and sundry additional items of
information, such as the distance to Watertown, the shortest path
across the common, etc., etc.

Why the Convention after having entrusted to a Joint Committee,
by a decisive vote, the task of devising means for securing for
the Prayer Book "increased flexibility of use," should have thought
it necessary subsequently to take up with this compromise of a
compromise (for such the proposal to amend the Ratification really
is) it is difficult to say. Perhaps it was with the determination
to have, at any rate, something to fall back upon in case the larger
and more comprehensive measure should come to naught.

The rubric is confessedly the proper place for directions as to
how to use the services, and but for the very natural and defensible
objection on the part of some to touching the Prayer Book at all,
there never would have been any question about it.[27] This
objection having been at last waived, a straight path is now open
to the end desired, and it ought to be followed even at the cost
of three years more of delay.

Returning to the general subject, and still following the order of
the Table of Contents, we come to Prayers and Thanksgivings upon
several Occasions.

Here it would be well to note more intelligibly than is done by
the present rubric the proper places for the introduction of the
Prayers and the Thanksgivings, providing for the use of the former
before, and of the latter after the General Thanksgiving.

As to the deficiencies in this department let the late Dr. Muhlenberg

"The Prayer Book," he says, "is not undervalued as to its treasures
in asserting its wants. The latter cannot be denied. Witness the
meagre amount of New Testament prayer and praise for the round of
festivals and fasts; the absence of any forms suited to the peculiar
circumstances of our own Church and country and to the times we
live in; or for our benevolent and educational institutions. There
are no prayers for the increase of Ministers, for Missions, or
Missionaries, for the Christian teaching of the young; for sponsors
on occasions of Baptism; for persons setting out on long journeys
by land, quite as perilous as voyages by sea; for the sick desiring
the prayers of the Church when there is no prospect of or desire
for recovery; for the bereaved at funerals, and many other occasions
for which there might as well be provision as for those few for
which we already have the occasional prayers."[28]

After the _Prayers and Thanksgivings_ come _The Collects, Epistles,
and Gospels _. Here again there is some room for enrichment.
Distinctive collects for the first four days of Holy Week, for
Monday and Tuesday in Easter Week, and for Monday and Tuesday in
Whitsun Week, would add very materially to our liturgical wealth,
while there would seem to be no reason whatever why they should
not be had. It would also serve to enhance the symmetry of the
Christian Year if the old feast of the Transfiguration[29] (August
6) were to be restored to its place among the recognized holy days
of the Church and given its proper collect, epistle, and gospel.

There are some liturgists who desire the restoration of the introits
of the First Book of Edward VI. The introit (so called from being
the psalm sung when the priest goes within the altar-rails) has
been in modern usage replaced by a metrical hymn. A sufficient
reason for not printing the introit for each day in full, just
before the collect, as was the mode in Edward's Book, is that to
do so would involve a costly sacrifice of room. A compromise course
would be to insert between the title of each Sunday or holyday and
the collect proper to it, a simple numerical reference stating
whereabouts in the Psalter the introit for the day is to be found,
and adding perhaps the Latin catchwords. Any attempt to make the
use of the introit obligatory in our times would meet with deserved
failure; the metrical hymn has gained too firm a hold upon the
affections of the Church at large ever to be willingly surrendered.

Coming, next, to the orders for the administration of the two
sacraments, we find ourselves on delicate ground, where serious
change of any sort is out of the question. Permission, under certain
circumstances, still further to abbreviate the Office of the
Communion of the Sick might, however, be sought without giving
reasonable cause of alarm to any, and general consent might perhaps
also be had for a provision with respect to the Exhortation, "Dearly
beloved in the Lord," that in "Churches where there is frequent
Communion it shall suffice to read the Exhortation above written
once in a month on the Lord's Day."[30]

There are three liturgical features of the Scottish Communion
Office which some have thought might be advantageously transferred
to our own service. They are (_a_) the inserting after Christ's
summary of the Law a response, _Lord, have mercy upon us and write
these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee_; (_b_) the repeating
by the people, after the reading of the Gospel, of a formula of
thanks corresponding to the _Glory be to thee, O Lord_, that
precedes it; and (_c_) the saying or singing of an Offertory
sentence at the presentation of the alms. Upon these suggested
enrichments the present writer offers no opinion.

In the Order of Confirmation a substitution for the present
preface[31] of a responsive opening, in which the bishop should
charge the minister to present none but such as he has found by
personal inquiry "apt and meet" for the reception of the rite would
be a marked improvement.

The remaining Occasional Offices would seem to demand no change
either in structure or contents, although in some, perhaps in all
of them, additional rubrics would be helpful to worshippers.

Some addition to the number of Occasional Offices would be a
real gain. We need, for instance, a short Office for the Burial of
Infants and Young Children; a Daybreak Office for Great Festivals;
an Office for Midday Prayer; an Office of Prayer in behalf of
Missions and Missionaries; an Office for the Setting apart of a
Layman as a Reader, or as a Missionary; a Form of Prayer at
the Laying of a Corner-stone; and possibly some others. It is
evident that these new formularies might give opportunity for
the introduction of hitherto unused collects, anthems, and
benedictions of a sort that would greatly enhance the general
usefulness of the Prayer Book.

This completes the survey of the field of "liturgical enrichment."
A full discussion of the allied topic, "flexibility of use," would
involve the examination in detail of all the rubrics of the Prayer
Book, and for this there is no room. It is enough to say that
unless the rubrics, the hinges and joints of a service-book, are
kept well oiled, much creaking is a necessary result. There are
turning-points in our public worship where congregations almost
invariably betray an awkward embarrassment, simply because there
is nothing to tell them whether they are expected to stand or to
sit or to kneel. It is easy to sneer at such points as trifles and
to make sport of those who call attention to them; but if it
is worth our while to have ritual worship at all it is also worth
our while to make the directions as to how people are to behave
adequate, explicit, plain. A lofty contempt for detail is not the
token of good administration either in Church or State. To the list
of defective rubrics add those that are confessedly obsolete and
such as are palpably contradictory and we have a bill of particulars
that would amply justify a rubrical revision of the Prayer Book even
if nothing more were to be attempted.

There is another reason. Far more rapidly than many people
imagine, we are drifting away from the position of a Church that
worships by liturgy to that of a Church worshipping by directory.
The multiplicity of "uses" that vexed the Anglican Reformers is
in our day multiplied four-fold. To those who honestly consider a
directory a better thing than a liturgy this process of relaxation
is most welcome, but for others who hold that, until the binding
clauses of a Book of Common Prayer have been formally rescinded,
they ought to be observed, the spectacle is the reverse of edifying.
They would much prefer seeing the channels of liberty opened at the
touch of law, and this is one of their chief reasons for advocating

Two questions remain untouched, both of them of great practical
importance. Could the Prayer Book be enriched to the extent
suggested in this paper without a serious and most undesirable
increase in its bulk as a volume?

Even supposing this were possible, is it at all likely that the
Church could be persuaded to accept the amended book?

Unless the first of these two eminently proper questions can be
met, there is, or ought to be, an end to all talk about revision.
The advantage to a Church of being able to keep all its authoritative
formularies of worship within the compass of a single volume is
inestimable. Even the present enforced severance of the Hymnal
from the Prayer Book is a misfortune.[32]

Those were good days when "Bible and Prayer Book" was the Churchman's
all sufficient formula so far as volumes were concerned.

Rome boasts a much larger ritual variety than ours, but she secures
it by multiplying books. The Missal is in one volume, the Breviary
in four, the Pontifical, the Ritual, and the Ceremonial in one each,
making eight in all.[33] This is an evil, and one from which we
Anglicans have had a happy escape. It was evidently with a great
groan of relief that the Church of England shook herself free from
the whole host of service-books, and established her one only
volume. It behooves us to be watchful how we take a single step
towards becoming entangled in the old meshes.[34]

But need the enrichment of the Prayer Book--such enrichment as has
been described, necessarily involve an unwieldiness in the volume,
or, what would be still worse, an overflow into a supplement?
Certainly not; for by judicious management every change advocated
in this paper, and more besides, might be accomplished without
transgressing by so much as a page or a paragraph the limits of
the present standard book. All the space needed could be secured
by the simple expedient of omitting matter that has been found by
actual experience to be superfluous. Redundancy and unnecessary
repetition are to the discredit of a book that enjoys such an
unrivalled reputation as the Common Prayer. They are blemishes
upon the face of its literary perfectness. Who has not marvelled
at the strange duplication of the Litany and the Office of the Holy
Communion in the Ordinal, when the special petitions proper to
those services when used in that connection might easily have been
printed by themselves with a direction that they be inserted in
the appointed place?

Scholars, of course, know perfectly well how this came about. The
Ordinal does not belong to the Prayer Book proper, but has a
separate identity of its own. When printed as a book by itself
it is all very well that it should include the Litany and the Holy
Communion in full, but why allow these superfluous pages to crowd
out others that are really needed?[35]

It has already been explained how the room now occupied by the
"Selections" might be economized, and by the same simple device
the space engrossed by divers psalms here and there in the Occasional
Offices, _e_. _g_., Psalm li in the Visitation of Prisoners, and
Psalm cxxx in the Visitation of the Sick could be made available
for other use.

Again, why continue to devote a quarter of a page of precious
space to the "Prayer for imprisoned debtors," seeing that now,
for a long time past, there has been no such thing in the United
States as imprisonment for debt? By availing ourselves of only a
portion of these possible methods of garnering space, all that is
desired might be accomplished, without making the Prayer Book
bulkier by a single leaf than it is to-day.

But would a Prayer Book thus enriched be accepted by the Church
at large? Is there any reason to think that the inertia which
inheres in all large bodies, and to a singularly marked degree
in our own Communion, could be overcome? The General Convention
can give an approximate answer to these questions; it cannot settle
them decisively, for it is a body which mirrors only to a certain
extent the real mind and temper of the constituencies represented
in it. One thing is certain, that only by allowing fullest possible
play to the principle of "local option" could any wholly new piece
of work on the part of revisionists, however excellent it might be
in itself considered, find acceptance. To allow features introduced
into the body of an existing service to be accounted optional,
would indeed be impossible, without gendering the very wildest
confusion. Upon such points the Church would have to decide
outright, for or against, and stand by her decisions. But as
respects every additional and novel Office proposed, the greatest
care ought to be taken to have the indefinite An rather than the
definite _The_ prefixed to it. Before such new uses are made binding
on all, they must have met and endured the test of thorough trial
by some. This is only fair.

But there is a limit, it must be remembered, in the Church's case
to the binding power of precedent and prescription. The social
order changes, and of these tides that ebb and flow it is our
bounden duty to take note. Had mere aversion to change, dogged
unwillingness to venture an experiment always carried the day,
instead of having the "Prayer Book as it is," we should still be
drearily debating the rival merits of Hereford and Sarum. The great
question to be settled is, Does an emergency exist serious enough
to warrant an attempt on our part to make better what we know
already to be good? Is the Republic expecting of us, and reasonably
expecting of us, greater things than with our present equipment we
are quite able to accomplish? There are eyes that think they see a
great future before this Church--are they right, or is it only
mirage? At any rate ours is no return trip--we are outward bound.
The ship is cutting new and untried waters with her keel at every
moment. There is no occasion to question the sufficiency of either
compass or helm, but in certain matters of a practical sort there
is a demand upon us to use judgment, we are bound to give a place
in our seamanship to present common-sense as well as to respect for
ancient usage, and along with it all to feel some confidence that
if the ship is what we think her to be, "the winds of God" may be
trusted to bring her safely into port.



First, last, and always this is to be said with respect to
the revision of the American Common Prayer, that unless we can
accomplish it with hearty good feeling the attempt at improvement
ought to be abandoned altogether.

The day has gone by when new formularies of worship could be
imposed on an unwilling Church by edict, and although under our
carefully guarded system of ecclesiastical legislation there is
little danger of either haste or unfairness, we must bear it well
in mind that something more than "a constitutional majority of both
houses" is needful if we would see liturgical revision crowned with
real success. Of course, absolute unanimity is not to be expected.
Every improvement that the world has seen was greeted at its birth
by a chorus of select voices sounding the familiar anthem, "The old
is better"; and the generation of those, who, in the sturdy phrase
of King James's revisers, "give liking unto nothing but what is
framed by themselves, and hammered on their anvil," will be always
with us. But substantial unanimity may exist, even when absolute
unanimity is impossible, and if anything like as general a consent
can be secured for revision in 1886 as was given to it in 1883, the
friends of the movement will have good reason to be satisfied.

That there has been, since the publication of _The Book Annexed as
Modified_, a certain measure of reaction against the spirit of
change must be evident to all who watch carefully the pulse of
public opinion in the Church. Whether this reaction be as serious
as some imagine, whether it have good reasons to allege, and whether
it be not already giving tokens of spent force, are points which
in the present paper will be touched only incidentally, for the
writer's purpose is rather irenic than polemical, and he is more
concerned to remove misapprehensions and allay fears than to seek
the fading leaf of a controversial victory.


No estimate of the merits and demerits of _The Book Annexed_ can
be a just one that leaves out of account the limitations under
which the framers of it did their work. These limitations were not
unreasonable ones. It was right and proper that they should be
imposed. There is no good ground for a belief that the time will
ever come when a "blank cheque," to borrow Mr. Goschen's mercantile
figure, will be given to any company of liturgical revisers to fill
out as they may see fit. But the moulders of forms, in whatever
department of plastic art their specialty lies, when challenged to
show cause why their work is deficient in symmetry or completeness,
have an undoubted right to plead in reply the character of the
conditions under which they labored. The present instance offers
no exception to the general rule. In the first place, a distinct
pledge was given in the House of Deputies, in 1880, before consent
to the appointment of the Joint Committee was secured, that in case
such permission to launch a movement in favor of revision as was
asked for were to be granted, no attempt would be made seriously
to change the Liturgy proper, namely, the Office of the Holy

The question was distinctly asked by a clerical deputy from the
diocese of Maryland,[37] Do you desire to modify the Office of
the Holy Communion? and it was as distinctly answered by the mover
of the resolution under which the Joint Committee was finally
appointed, No, we do not. It is true that such a pledge, made by
a single member of one House, could only measurably control the
action of a Joint Committee in which both Houses were to be
represented; but it is equally plain that the maker of the pledge
was in honor bound to do all in his power to secure the observance
of its terms.

Let this historical fact be noted by those who are disposed to
complain that the Joint Committee did not pull to pieces and
entirely rearrange the Anglo-Scoto-American Office, which now
for a long time, and until quite recently, we have been taught
to esteem the nearest possible approach to liturgical perfection.

Under this same head of "limitations" must be set down the following
resolutions passed by the Joint Committee itself, at its first
regular meeting:

_Resolved_, That this Committee asserts, at the outset, its
conviction that no alteration should be made touching either
statements or standards of doctrine in the Book of Common Prayer.

_Resolved_, That this Committee, in all its suggestions and acts,
be guided by those principles of liturgical construction and ritual
use which have guided the compilation and amendments of the Book
of Common Prayer, and have made it what it is.

It was manifestly impossible, under resolutions like these, to
depart very widely from established precedent, or in any serious
measure to disturb the foundations of things.

The first of them shut out wholly the consideration of such
questions as the reinstatement of the Athanasian Creed or the
proposal to make optional the use of the word "regenerate" in
the Baptismal Offices; while the other forbade the introduction
of such sentimental and grotesque conceits as "An Office for the
Blessing of Candles," "An Office for the Benediction of a Lifeboat,"
and "An Office for the Reconciliation of a Lapsed Cleric."[38]

Still another very serious limitation, and one especially unfriendly
to that perfectness of contour which we naturally look to see
in a liturgical formulary, grew out of the tender solicitude
of the Committee for what may be called the vested rights of
congregations. There was a strong reluctance to the cutting
away even of what might seem to be dead wood, lest there should
ensue, or be thought to ensue, the loss of something really

It was only as the result of much painstaking effort, and only at
some sacrifice of literary fastidiousness, that the Committee was
enabled to report a book of which it could be said that, while it
added much of possible enrichment, it took away almost nothing that
had been in actual possession.[39] There could be no better
illustration of this point than is afforded by certain of the
alterations proposed to be made in the Order for Evening Prayer.

The Committee felt assured that upon no point was the judgment of
the Church likely to be more unanimous than in approving the
restoration to their time-honored home in the Evening Office of
_Magnificat_ and _Nunc dimittis_, and yet so unwilling were they
to displace _Bonum est confiteri_ and _Benedic anima mea_ from
positions they have only occupied since 1789 that they authorized
the unquestionably clumsy expedient of printing three responds to
each Lesson.

Probably a large majority of the Committee would have preferred to
drop _Bonum est confiteri_ and _Benedic anima mea_ altogether,
retaining _Cantate Domino_ and _Deus miser eatur_ as the sole
alternates to the two Gospel canticles, as in the English Book,
but rather than have a thousand voices cry out, as it was believed
they would cry out, "You have robbed us," the device of a second
alternate was adopted, to the sad defacement of the printed page.
In may be charged that, in thus choosing, the Committee betrayed
timidity, and that a wise boldness would have been the better
course; but if account be taken of the attitude consistently
maintained by General Convention towards any proposition for the
change of so much as a comma in the Prayer Book, during a period
of fifty years prior to the introduction of _The Book Annexed_, it
will perhaps be concluded that for the characterization of the
Committee's policy timidity is scarcely so proper a word as caution.


(_a_) _Foreign_.

As there is reason to believe that opinion at home has been very
considerably affected by foreign criticism of _The Book Annexed_,
it will be well at this point to give some attention to what has
been said in English journals in review of the work thus far
accomplished. The more noteworthy of the foreign criticisms are
those contained in _The Church Quarterly Review_, _The Church
Times_, and _The Guardian_.[40]

The Church Quarterly reviewer opens with an expression of deep
regret at "the failure to take advantage of the opportunity for
reinstating the Athanasian Creed." As already observed, no such
opportunity existed. By formal vote the Joint Committee debarred
itself from any proceeding of this sort, and the Convention, which
sat in judgment on its work, was manifestly of opinion that in so
acting the Committee had rightly interpreted its charter.

The reviewer, who is in full sympathy with the movement for
enrichment as such, goes on to recommend, as a more excellent
way than that followed in _The Book Annexed_, the compilation of

  An Appendix to the Book of Common Prayer to contain the much
  needed _Additional Services_ for both Sunday and other use in
  churches, in mission chapels, and in religious communities, as
  well as a full supply of _Occasional Prayers and Thanksgivings_
  for objects and purposes, missionary and otherwise, which are as
  yet entirely unrepresented in our Offices.

There are obvious reasons why this device should commend itself to
an English Churchman, for it is unlikely that anything better than
this, or, indeed, anything one half so satisfactory, could be
secured by Act of Parliament.

For something very much better than this, however, a self-governed
Church, like our own, has a right to look, and, in all probability,
will continue to look until the thing is found. _An Appendix_ to a
manual of worship, whether the manual be Prayer Book or Hymnal,[41]
is and cannot but be, from the very nature of things, a blemish to
the eye, an embarrassment to the hand, and a vexation to the spirit.
Such _addenda_ carry on their face the suggestion that they are
makeshifts, postscripts, after-thoughts; and in their lack of
dignity, as well as of convenience, pronounce their own condemnation.

Moreover, in our particular case, no "Appendix," "Prymer," or
"Authorized Vade-mecum" could accomplish the ends that are most
of all desired. Fancy putting the _Magnificat_, the _Nunc dimittis_,
the Versicles that follow the Creed, and the "Lighten our darkness"
into an "Appendix." It would be the defeat of our main object.

Then, too, this is to be remembered, that in order to secure a
"fully authorized Appendix," we, in this country, should be obliged
to follow precisely the same legal process we follow in altering
the Prayer Book. If an Occasional Office cannot pass the ordeal of
the criticism of two successive Conventions, it ought not to be set
forth at all; if it can and does stand that test, then it ought to
be inserted in the Prayer Book in the particular place where it most
appropriately belongs and may most readily be found.

Moreover, it should be remembered that one, and by no means the
least efficient, of the causes that brought the Common Prayer into
existence in the sixteenth century was disgust at the multiplication
of service-books. We American Churchmen have two already; let us
beware of adding a third.

The critic of _The Quarterly_ was probably unacquainted with the
fact that in the American Episcopal Church the experimental setting
forth of Offices "for optional and discretional use" is not possible
under the terms of the Constitution. We either must adopt outright
and for permanent use, or else peremptorily reject whatever is urged
upon us in the name of liturgical improvement.

Entering next upon a detailed criticism of the contents of The _Book
Annexed_ the writer proceeds to offer a number of suggestions, some
of them of great value. He pleads earnestly and with real force for
the restoration of the Lord's Prayer to its "place of honor" between
the Creed and the Preces, showing, in a passage of singular beauty,
how the whole daily office "may be said to have grown out of, or
radiated from, or been crystallized round the central _Pater
noster_" even as "from the Words of Institution has grown the
Christian Liturgy."

The critic has only praise for the amendments in the Office
for Thanksgiving Day; approves the selection of Proper Sentences
for the opening of Morning and Evening Prayer; avers, certainly
with truth, that the Office of the Beatitudes might be improved;
welcomes "the very full repertory of special prayers"; thinks
that the _Short Office of Prayer for Sundry Occasions_ "certainly
supplies a want"; rejoices in the recognition of the Feast of the
Transfiguration; and closes what is by far the most considerable,
and, both as respects praise and blame, the most valuable of all
the reviews that have been made of _The Book Annexed_ whether at
home or abroad, with these words:

On the whole, we very heartily congratulate our Transatlantic
brothers on the labors of their Joint Committee. We hope their
recommendations may be adopted, and more in the same direction;
and that the two or three serious blemishes which we have felt
constrained to point out and to lament may be removed from the
book in the form finally adopted.

And further, we very earnestly trust that this work, which has
been very evidently so carefully and conscientiously done, may
speedily, by way of example and precedent, bear fruit in a like
process of enrichment among ourselves.

Commending these last words to the consideration of those who
take alarm at the suggestion of touching the Prayer Book lest
we may hurt the susceptibilities of our "kin beyond sea," and
unduly anticipate that "joint action of both Churches," which,
at least until disestablishment comes, must always remain a sheer
impossibility, we pass to a consideration of the six articles
contributed to the _Church Times_ in July and August last, under
the title, _The Revised American Prayer Book_. Here we come upon
a writer who, if not always edifying, has the undoubted merit of
being never dull. In fact, so deliciously are logical inconsequence
and accidental humor mingled throughout his fifteen columns of
discursive criticism that a suspicion arises as to the writer's
nationality. It is doubtful whether anyone born on the English side
of the Irish Sea could possibly have suggested the establishment
of a Saint's Day in honor of the late respected Warden of Racine
College, or seriously have proposed that Messrs. Oliver Wendell
Holmes, Russell Lowell, Henry James, and W. D. Howells be appointed
a jury of "literary arbitrament" to sit in judgment on the liturgical
language of _The Book Annexed_; and this out of respect to our
proper national pride. Doubtless it would add perceptibly to the
amused sense of the unfitness of things with which these eminent
liberals must have seen themselves thus named, if permission could
be given to the jury, when empanelled, to "co-opt" into its number
Mr. Samuel Clemens and Mr. Dudley Warner.[42]

The general tenor of the writer in _The Church Times_ may fairly
be inferred from the following extract from the first article of
the series:

The judgment that must be pronounced on the work as a whole is
precisely that which has been passed on the Revised New Testament,
that there are doubtless some few changes for the better, so obvious
and so demanded beforehand by all educated opinion that to have
neglected them would at once have stamped the revisers as blockheads
and dunces; but that the set-off in the way of petty and meddlesome
changes for the worse, neglect of really desirable improvements,
bad English, failure in the very matter of pure scholarship just
where it was least to be expected, and general departure from
the terms of the Commission assigned to them (notably by their
introduction of confusion instead of flexibility into the services,
so that the congregation can seldom know what is going to happen)
has so entirely outweighed the merits of the work that it cannot
possibly be adopted by the Church, and must be dismissed as a dismal
fiasco, to be dealt with anew in some more adequate fashion.

This paragraph is not reproduced for the purpose of discrediting
the writer of it as a judge of English prose, for there are various
passages in the course of the six articles that would more readily
lend themselves to such a use. The object in quoting it is simply
to put the reader into possession, in a compact form, of the most
angry, even if not the most formidable, of the various indictments
yet brought against _The Book Annexed_.

Moreover, the last words of the extract supply a good text for
certain didactic remarks that ought to be made, with respect to
what is possible and what is not possible in the line of liturgical
revision in America.

Worthless as the result of the Joint Committee's labors has turned
out to be, their motive, we are assured, was a good one. The
critic's contention is not that the work they undertook is a work
that ought not to be done, but rather that when done it should be
better done. The revision as presented must be "dismissed as a
dismal fiasco," but only dismissed "in order to be dealt with anew
in some more adequate fashion." But on what ground can we rest this
sanguine expectation of better things to come? Whence is to
originate and how is to be appointed the commission of "experts"
which is to give us at last the "Ideal Liturgy"?

Cardinal Newman in one of his lesser controversial tracts remarks:

If the English people lodge power in the many, not in the few, what
wonder that its operation is roundabout, clumsy, slow, intermittent,
and disappointing? You cannot eat your cake and have it; you cannot
be at once a self-governing nation and have a strong government.[43]

Similarly it may be said that, however great the difficulties that
beset liturgical revision by legislative process at the hands of
some five hundred men, nevertheless the fact remains that the body
known in law as The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States
of America has provided in its Constitution that change in its
formularies shall be so effected and not otherwise. It may turn
out that we must give up in despair the whole movement for a better
adaptation of our manual of worship to the needs of our land and
of our time; it may be found that the obstacles in the way are
absolutely insuperable; but let us dream no dreams of seeing this
thing handed over, "with power," to a "commission of experts," for
that is something which will never come to pass.

Whether "experts" in liturgies are any more likely to furnish us
with good prayers than "experts" in prosody are likely to give us
the best poetry is a tempting question, but one that must be left,
for the present, on one side. Perhaps, if the inquiry were to be
pushed, we might find ourselves shut up to the curious conclusion
that the framers of the very earliest liturgies, the authors of
the old sacramentaries, were either verbally inspired or else were
lacking in the qualifications which alone could fit them to do
worthily the work they worthily did, for clearly "experts" they
were not.

But the question that immediately concerns us is one of simple
fact. Assuming the present laborious effort at betterment to have
been proved a "fiasco," how is the General Convention to set in
motion any more promising enginery of revision? "Summon in," say
our English advisers, "competent scholars, and give them _carte
blanche_ to do what they will." But the Convention, which is by
law the final arbiter, has no power to invite to a share in its
councils men who have no constitutional right to a seat upon its
floor. How thankfully should we welcome as participants in our
debates and as allies in our legislation the eminent liturgical
scholars who give lustre to the clergy list of the Church of
England; but we are as powerless to make them members of the
General Convention as we should be to force them into the House
of Commons. The same holds true at home. If the several dioceses
fail to discover their own "inglorious Miltons," and will not send
them up to General Convention, General Convention may, and doubtless
does, lament the blindness of the constituencies, but it cannot
correct their blunder. The dioceses in which the "experts"
canonically reside had had full warning that important liturgical
interests were to be discussed and acted upon in the General
Convention of 1883; why were the "experts" left at home? And if
they were not returned in 1883, is there sufficient reason to
believe that they will ever be returned in any coming year of
grace? It must be either that the American Church is bereft of
"experts," or else that the constituencies, influenced possibly
by the hard sense of the laity, have learned hopelessly to confound
the "expert" with the doctrinaire.

Of "expert testimony," in the shape of the liturgical material
gathered, mainly by English writers, during the last fifty years,
the Joint Committee had no lack. That this material was carefully
sifted and conscientiously used, _The Book Annexed_ will itself one
day be acknowledged to be the sufficient evidence.

There is still another point that must be taken into account in
this connection, to wit, the attitude which the Episcopate has a
right to take with respect to any proposed work of liturgical
revision. Bishops have probably become inured to the hard measure
habitually dealt out to them in the columns of the _Church Times_,
and are unlikely to allow charges of ignorance and incompetency so
far to disturb their composure as to make them afraid to prosecute
a work which, from time immemorial, has been held to lie peculiarly
within their province. It may be affirmed, with some confidence,
that no revision of the American Offices will ever be ratified, in
the conduct of which the Bishops of the Church have not been allowed
the leadership which belongs to them of right. Then it is for the
General Convention carefully to consider whether any House of
Bishops destined to be convened in our time is likely to have on
its roll the names of any prelates more competent, whether on the
score of learning or of practical experience, to deal with a work
of liturgical revision than were the seven prelates elected by the
free voice of their brethren to represent the Episcopal Order on
the Joint Committee of Twenty-one.

Coming to details the reviewer of the _Church Times_ regrets, first
of all, the failure of the Convention to change the name of the
Church. He goes on to express a disapproval, more or less qualified,
of the discretionary power given to bishops to set forth forms of
prayer for special occasions, and of the continued permission to
use Selections of Psalms instead of the psalms for the day. It is
not quite clear whether he approves the expansion of the Table of
Proper Psalms or not, though he thinks it "abstractedly desirable"
that provision be made in this connection for "Corpus Christi and
All Souls."

He condemns the latitude allowed in the choice of lessons under
the rules of the new lectionary, fearing that a clergyman who
happens to dislike any given chapter because of its contents may
be tempted habitually to suppress it by substituting another, but
in the very next paragraph he gravely questions the expediency of
limiting congregations to such hymns as have been "duly set forth
and allowed by authority." Yet most observers, at least on this
side of the water, are of opinion that liberty of choice within
the limits of the Bible is a far safer freedom, so far as the
breeding of heresy goes, than liberty of choice beyond the limits
of the Hymnal has proved itself to be. The reviewer is pleased with
the addition of the Feast of the Transfiguration to the Calendar,
but "desiderates more," and would gladly welcome the introduction
into the Prayer Book of commemorations of eminent saints, from
Ignatius down,[44] but of this, mention has already been made,
and it is unnecessary to revert to it.

There follows next a protest against the selection of proper
Sentences prefixed to Morning and Evening Prayer.

The revisers seem to have a glimmering of what was the right
thing to do . . . but they should have swept away the undevotional
and unliturgical plan of beginning with certain detached texts,
which has no fitness whatever, and has never even seemed to answer
any useful end.

This is stronger language than most of us are likely to approve. A
Church that directly takes issue with Rome, as ours does, with
respect to the true source of authority in religion has an excellent
reason for letting the voice of Holy Scripture sound the key-note
of her daily worship, whether there be ancient precedent for such
a use or not. At the same time, the reviewer's averment that "the
only proper opening is the Invocation of the Holy Trinity" is
entitled to attention; and it is worth considering whether the
latter portion of the nineteenth verse of the twenty-eighth chapter
of St. Matthew's Gospel might not be advantageously added to the
list of opening Sentences, for optional use.

In speaking of the new alternate to the Declaration of Absolution,
the reviewer suggests most happily that it would be well to revive
the form of mutual confession of priest and people found in the old
service-books.[45] This proposal would probably not be entertained
in connection with the regular Orders for Morning and Evening
Prayer, but room for such a feature might perhaps be found in
some optional office.

After a grudging commendation of the steps taken in _The Book
Annexed_ to restore the Gospel Canticles, the reviewer next puts
in a strong plea for a larger allowance of versicles and responses
after the Creed, contending that this is "just one of the places
where enrichment, much beyond that of replacing the English versicles
and responses now missing, is feasible and easy," to which the
answer is that we, who love these missing versicles, shall think
ourselves fortunate if we succeed in regaining only so much as we
have lost. Even this will be accomplished with difficulty. It is
most interesting, however, to notice that this stout defender of
all that is English acknowledges the coupling together of the
versicle, "Give peace in our time, O Lord," and the response,
"Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou,
O God," to be "a very infelicitous _non-sequitur_." For correcting
this palpable incongruity, the authors of _The Book Annexed_ have
been sharply criticised here at home. What were they that they
should have presumed to disturb ancient Anglican precedent in such
a point? If we could not understand why the God of battles, as
the God of battles, should be implored to "give peace in our time,"
so much the worse for our intelligence. But here comes the most
acrid of all our critics, and shows how the collocation of sentences
in the English Book has, from the beginning, been due to a palpable
blunder in condensing an office of the Sarum Breviary. Of the
American substitute for this "unhappy response" the best he can
say, however, is that it is "well intentioned."

Of the "Office of the Beatitudes" the reviewer declares that it
"needs thorough recasting before it can stand," and in this we
agree with him, as will hereafter appear, though wholly unable
to concur in his sweeping condemnation, in this connection, of
one of the most beautiful of Canon Bright's liturgical compositions,
the Collect beginning, "O God, by whom the meek are guided in
judgment and light riseth up in darkness for the godly." Of this
exquisite piece of idiomatic English, the reviewer allows himself
to speak as being "a very poor composition, defective in rhythm."

The criticism of the eucharistic portions of _The Book Annexed_ is
mainly in the line of complaint that more has not been added in the
way of new collects and proper prefaces, but upon this point it is
unnecessary to dwell, the reasons having been already given why
the Joint Committee and the Convention left the liturgy proper
almost untouched. Neither is there anything that specially calls
for notice or serious reply in what is said about the Occasional

The Office for the Burial of Children is acknowledged to be a needed
addition, but as it stands "is pitched in an entirely wrong key. The
cognate offices in the _Rituale Romanun_ and the _Priest's Prayer
Book_ ought to have shown the Committee, were it not for their
peculiar unteachableness, a better way." To one who can read between
the lines, this arraignment of the Americans for their lack of
docility to the teachings of the Priest's Prayer Book is not devoid
of drollery.

It will happily illustrate the peculiar difficulties that beset
liturgical revision to close this resume of the censures of
_The Church Times_ by printing, side by side, the reviewer's
estimate of the changes proposed in the Confirmation Office and
the independent judgment of a learned evangelical divine of our
own Church upon the same point.

The Confirmation Service, as one of the very poorest in the Anglican
rites, stood particularly in need of amendment and enrichment,
especially by the removal of the ambiguous word "confirm" applied
to the acts of the candidates, whereby the erroneous opinion that
they came merely to confirm and ratify their baptismal promises,
and not to be confirmed and strengthened in virtue of something
bestowed upon them, has gained currency.

Thus far the English Ritualist. Here follows the American

I still hope you will see your way clear to modify the present
draft of the proposed Confirmation Office, as it gives a much
higher Sacramentarian idea of it than the present, a concession
which will greatly please the Sacerdotalists, to which they are
by no means entitled.

The critic of _The Guardian_ is a writer of different make,
and entitled every way to the most respectful attention. His
fault-finding, which is invariably courteous, is mainly confined
to the deficiencies of _The Book Annexed_.

He would have had more done rather than less; but at the same
time clearly points out that under the restrictions which controlled
the Committee more could not fairly have been expected. He regrets
that in restoring the lost portions of _Venite_ and _Benedictus_
the Convention did not make the use of the complete form in every
case obligatory; and of the eight concluding verses of the latter
canticle, which under the rubric of _The Book Annexed_ are only
obligatory during Advent, he says, "Imagine their omission on
Christmas Day!"

To this criticism there are several answers, any one of which may
be held to be sufficient. In the first place, it should be remembered
that into the Committee's plan of enrichment there entered the
element of differentiation. The closing portion of the _Venite_
has a special appropriateness to Lent; the closing portion of the
_Benedictus_ a special appropriateness to Advent. Moreover, if any
congregations desire the whole of these two canticles throughout
the year, there is nothing in the rubrics of _The Book Annexed_ to
forbid such an enjoyment of them. They may be sung in full always;
but only in Lent in the one case, and in Advent in the other, mast
they be so sung. The revision Committee was informed, on what was
considered the highest authority, that in the Church of England
the _Benedictus_, on account of its length, had been very generally
disused. But, however this may be, there can be little doubt that
the effort after restoration would have failed completely in the
late Convention had the use of these two canticles in full been
insisted upon by the promoters of revision.

There is less of verbal criticism in _The Guardian's_ review than
could have been wished, for any suggestions with respect to
inaccuracies of style or rhythmical shortcomings would have
been most welcome from the pen of so competent a censor. Attention
is called to the unmusical flow of language in the alternate
Confession provided for the Evening Office; the figurative features
of the proposed Collect for Maundy-Thursday are characterized as
infelicitous; and the Collect provided for the Feast of the
Transfiguration is declared to be inferior to the corresponding
one in the Sarum Breviary.

Of this sort of criticism, at the hands of men who know their
craft, _The Book Annexed_ cannot have too much. In fact, of such
immeasurable importance is good English in this connection, that
it would be no hardship were every separate clause of whatever
formulary it may be proposed to engraft upon the Prayer Book to
be subjected to the most searching tests.

Let an epoch be agreed upon, if necessary, that shall serve as
the criterion of admissibility for words and phrases. Let it
be decided, for instance, that no word that cannot prove an
Elizabethan parentage, or, if this be too severe a standard,
then no word of post-Caroline origin, shall be admitted within
the sacred precincts. Probably there are words in _The Book
Annexed_ which such a canon would eject; but let us have them
pointed out, and their merits and demerits discussed. Such
criticism would be of infinitely more value to the real interests
of revision than those vague and general charges of "crudeness"
and "want of finish" which it is always so easy to make and
sometimes so difficult to illustrate.

The writer in _The Guardian_ closes an only too brief commentary
upon what the Convention has laid before the Church with the
following words:

Many of the proposals now in question are excellent; but others
will be improved by reconsideration in the light of fuller ritual
study, such as will be seen to produce a more exact and cultured
ritual _aesthesis_, perhaps we may, without offence, add, a more
delicate appreciation of rhythm. What _The Book Annexed_ presents
to us in the way of emendation is, on the whole, good; but, if
subjected to a deliberate recension, it would, we predict, become
still better. If thus improved by the Convention of 1886, it might
be finally adopted by the Convention of 1889.

This conspectus of English critical opinion would be incomplete
were no account to be made of the utterances of the various writers
and speakers who dealt with the general subject of liturgical
revision at the recent Church Congress at Portsmouth.

_The Book Annexed_ could scarcely ask a more complete justification
than is supplied by these testimonies of men who at least may be
supposed to be acquainted with the needs of the Church of England.

The following catena, made up from three of the four Papers[46]
read upon the Prayer Book, gives a fair notion of the general tone
of the discussion. It will be worth anyone's while to collate it
with the thirty Resolutions that make up the "Notification to the

Can it be seriously doubted that there are requirements of this
age which are not satisfied by the provision for public worship
made in the sixteenth century? Can any really suppose that the
compilers of that brief manual, the Prayer Book, however proud
we may rightly be of their work, were so gifted with inspired
foresight as to save the Church of future ages the responsibilities
of considering and supplying the devotional wants of successive

Who has not felt the scantiness of holy association in our Sunday
and week-day worship? . . . Much, I know, has been supplied by our
hymnology, which has progressed nobly in proportion as the meagreness
of our liturgical provision has been realized. But beyond hymns we
need actual forms of service, which shall strike the ear and touch
the heart by fresh and vivid adaptations of God's Word to the great
mysteries of the Gospel faith . . . After-services on Sunday evenings
have of late grown common; for them we need also the aid of regular
and elastic forms.

Most deplorably have we felt the need of intercessory services
for Home and Foreign Missions; and, though there are beautiful
metrical litanies which bear directly on these and other objects,
yet these are not sufficient, and of course are limited to times
when a good and strong choir can be secured; . . . and further we
want very simple forms of prayer to accompany addresses given in
homes and mission rooms.[47]

I declare it as my conviction, after many years of (I hope) a not
indolent ministry, and of many opportunities of observation and
experiment, that the Church stands in pressing and immediate
need of a few rearrangements and adaptations of some of her
Offices; also of an enormous number of supplementary Offices or
services--some for frequent use, others for occasional purposes
within the consecrated buildings; and that besides these there is
need of a supply of special Offices for the use of a recognized
lay agency outside of the church edifices.

Why limit our introductory sentences to seven deprecatory texts? . . .
Why can we not introduce the anthem used on Easter-day, instead
of the _Venite_, throughout the Octave; or at least on Easter Monday
and Tuesday? Would not spiritual life be deepened and intensified,
and, best of all, be strengthened, by the use in the same manner of
a suitable anthem instead of the _Venite_ on Advent Sundays, on
Christmas-day, at Epiphany, on Ash-Wednesday, on Good Friday,
during Rogation days, at Ascension-tide, and on harvest festivals
and the special annual Church festival of the year?

I submit that an enrichment of the Book of Common Prayer is also
required. For although, as already suggested, this may be provided
to some extent by a Collect for occasional use before the final
prayer of Morning Prayer or Evensong, the needs of the Church will
not be fully supplied without some complete additional offices.
Certainly an additional service for Sunday afternoon and evening . . .
The times are very solemn, and we must wait no longer . . . We have
talked for nearly twenty-five years--not vainly, I believe--but
let us "go and do" not a little in the next five years . . . Prove
yourself to be of the Church of God by doing all the work of the
Church, and in the proper way. Proclaim before our God by your
actions and your activities, and by providing all that is needed,
not only for Churchmen, but for earnest Christians who are not
Churchmen, and for the poor, weary sinners who are living as if
there were neither Church nor Saviour, such services for the one,
and such means for drawing the others to Christ, that they all may
become one in him. And for all this you must have (as I think):

1. Possibly a small rearrangement of existing services.

2. Variety and additions in some of these services.

3. Enrichment by many services supplementary.

4. Services for use by laymen.

I wish to alarm none, but I wish we were all astir, for there is
no time to wait.[48]

I should like to suggest, if it seems desirable, as it does to me,
to make any further variation from the original arrangement of
Morning Prayer, that on such days as Easter-day, Whitsunday, and
Ascension-day we should begin in a little different fashion than
we do now.

Is it always needful to begin on such great days of rejoicing for
Christians with the same sentences and the _same_ Exhortation and
Confession, and have to wait, so to speak, to give vent to our
feelings till we reach the special psalms for the day? Might we
not on such days accept the glorious facts, and begin with some
special and appropriate psalm or anthem? . . . Thus we should at
once get the great doctrine of the day, and be let to rejoice in
it at the very outset, and then go on to the Lord's Prayer and the
rest as we have it now. Confession of sin and absolution are not
left out in the services of the day, as, of course, they occur in
the Holy Communion; but leaving them out in the ordinary services,
and beginning in the way suggested, would at one and the same time
mark the day more clearly, and give opportunity for Christian
gladness to show itself . . . Only one other alteration would, I
think, be needed, namely, that a good selection of psalms be made,
and used, as in the American Church, at the discretion of the
minister. I think all must feel that for one reason or another all
the psalms are not adapted for the ordinary worship of a mixed
congregation; and this plan would ease the minds of many clergy
and laity. Also copying the American Church, it would be well to
omit the Litany on Christmas-day, Easter-day, and Whitsunday.[49]

In the light of this summary of Anglican desiderata, compiled by
wholly friendly hands, it is plain that whatever we may do in this
country in the line of liturgical revision, always supposing it
to be gravely and carefully done, instead of harming, ought
marvellously to help the real interests of the Church of England.
Certain principles of polity adopted in our own Church a century
ago, and notably among them those affecting the legislative rights
of the laity in matters ecclesiastical, are beginning to find tardy
recognition in the England of the present. Possibly a hundred years
hence, or sooner, a like change of mind may bring English Churchmen
to the approval of liturgical methods which, even if not wholly
consonant to the temper of the Act of Uniformity, have nevertheless
been found useful and effective in the work of bringing the truth
and the power of God to bear upon the common life of a great nation.
The Church of England is to-day moving on toward changes and chances
of which she sees enough already to alarm and not yet enough to
reassure her. The dimness of uncertainty covers what may yet turn
out to be the Mount of her Transfiguration, and she fears as she
enters into the cloud. How shall we best and most wisely show our
sympathy? By passing resolutions of condolence? By childish
commiseration, the utterance of feigned lips, upon the approaching
sorrows of disestablishment? Not thus at all, but rather by a
courageous and well-considered pioneering work, which shall have
it for its purpose to feel the ground and blaze the path which
presently she and we may find ourselves treading in company. Tied
as she is, for her an undertaking of this sort is impossible. We
can show her no greater kindness than by entering upon it of our
own motion and alone.

(_b_) American.

Criticism at home has been abundant; much of it intelligent and
helpful, and by no means so much of it as might have been expected
captious. Of what may be called official reviews there have been
three, one from the Diocese of Central New York, one from the
Diocese of Wisconsin, and one from the Diocese of Easton. The
subject has also been dealt with in carefully prepared essays
published from time to time in _The Church Review_ and _The Church
Eclectic_, while in the case of the weekly journals the treatment
of the topic has been so frequent and so full that a mere catalogue
of the editorial articles and contributed communications in Which,
during the two years last past, liturgical revision has been
discussed would overtax the limits of the present paper.

The only practicable means of dealing with this mass of criticism
is to adopt the inductive method, and to seek to draw out from the
utterances of these many voices the four or five distinct concepts
that severally lie behind them.

_In limine_ however, let this be said, that the broadest generalization
of all is one to which the very discordance of the critics bears
the best possible witness. Of a scheme of re vision against which
is pressed, in Virginia,[50] the charge of Mariolatry; in Ohio,[51]
the charge of Latitudinarianism; and in Wisconsin[52] the charge of
Puritanic pravity, this much may at least be said, that it possesses
the note of fairness. From henceforth suggestions of partisan bias
are clearly out of order.

The Anglo-Catholic censures of _The Book Annexed_ are substantially
summed up in the assertion that due regard is not had, in the
changes proposed, to the structural principles of liturgical
science. In the exceedingly well written, if somewhat one-sided
document, already referred to as the Wisconsin Report, this is,
throughout, the burden of the complaint. The accomplished author
of the Report, than whom no one of the critics at home or abroad
has shown a keener or a better cultivated liturgical instinct, is
afraid that a free use of all the liberties permitted by the new
rubrics of the daily offices would so revolutionize Morning and
Evening Prayer as practically to obliterate the line of their
descent from the old monastic forms. If there were valid ground
for such an expectation the alarm might be justifiable; but
is there? The practical effect of the rubrics that make for
abbreviation will be to give us back, on weekdays almost exactly,
and with measurable precision on Sundays also, the Matins and
Evensong of the First Book of Edward VI. Surely this is not the
destruction of continuity with the pre-Reformation Church.

In his dislike of the provision for grafting the Beatitudes upon
the Evening Prayer, the author of the Wisconsin Report will have
many sympathizers, the present writer among them; but in his fear
that in the introduction of the Proem to the Song of the Three
Children, as a possible respond to the First Lesson,[53] there
lurks a covert design to dethrone the _Te Deum_, he is likely to
find few to agree with him.

But after all, may not this scrupulous regard for the precedents
set us in the old service-books be carried too far? It is wholesome,
but there is a limit to the wholesomeness of it. We remember who
it was that made war for the sake of "a scientific frontier." Some
of the scientific frontiers in the region of liturgies are as
illusory as his was. For example, _The Book Annexed_ may be
"unscientific" in drawing as largely as it does on the language
of the Apocalypse for versicles and responses. There has certainly
been a departure from Anglican precedent in this regard. And yet
it would scarcely seem that we could go far astray in borrowing
from the liturgy of heaven, whether there be earthly precedent or

Cranmer and his associates made a far bolder break with the old
office-books than _The Book Annexed_ makes with the Standard Common
Prayer. The statement of the Wisconsin Report, that "The Reformers
of the English Church did not venture to write new Offices of
Prayer," must be taken with qualifications. They did not make
offices absolutely _de novo_, but they did condense and combine
old offices in a manner that practically made a new thing of them.
They took the monastic services and courageously remoulded them
into a form suitable for the new era in which monasteries were to
exist no longer.

Happily they were so thorough in their work that comparatively
little change is called for in adapting what they fitted to the
needs of the sixteenth century to the more varied requirements of
the nineteenth. Still, when they are quoted as conservatives, and
we are referred for evidence of their dislike of change to that
particular paragraph of the Preface to the English Prayer Book
entitled, _Concerning the Service of the Church_[54] it is worth
our while to follow up the reference and see what is actually
there said. The Wisconsin Committee use very soft words in
speaking of the mediaeval perversions and corruptions of Divine
Service. "It was in the monasteries chiefly," they tell us,
"that these services received the embellishments and wonderful
variety which we find in the later centuries." But the following
is the cruel manner in which, in the English Preface cited as
authority, the "embellishments" and "wonderful variety" are

But these many years past, this godly and ancient order of the
ancient fathers hath been so altered, broken, and neglected,
by planting in uncertain stories and legends, with multitudes
of responds, verses, vain repetitions, commemorations, and
synodals, that commonly when any book of the Bible was begun,
after three or four chapters were read out, all the rest were

. . . And furthermore, notwithstanding that the ancient fathers
have divided the Psalms into seven portions, whereof every one was
called a Nocturn, now of late time a few of them have been daily
said and the rest utterly omitted . . . So that here you have an
Order for Prayer and for the Reading of the Holy Scripture much
agreeable to the mind and purposes of the old fathers, and a great
deal more profitable and commodious than that which of late was

This is conservatism in the very best sense, for the object aimed
at is plainly the conservation of purity, simplicity, and truth,
but surely it is not the conservatism of men with whom inaction is
the only wisdom and immobility the sole beatitude.

We change our sky completely in passing from Anglo-Catholic to
Broad Church criticism of _The Book Annexed_. This last has, in
the main, addressed itself to the rubrical features of the proposed
revision. "You promised us 'flexibility,'" the accusation runs,
"but what you are really giving us is simply rigidity under a new
form. Let things stay as they are, and we will undertake to
find all the 'flexibility' we care to have, without help from

This criticism has at least the merit of intelligibility, for
it directly antagonizes what was, without doubt, one main purpose
with the revisers, namely, that of reviving respect for the
rubrics by making compliance with their terms a more practicable

Evidently what Broad Churchmen, or at least a section of them,
would prefer is the prevalence of a general consent under which
it shall be taken for granted that rubrics are not literally binding
on the minister, but are to be stretched and adapted, at the
discretion of the officiant, as the exigencies of times and seasons
may suggest. It is urged that such a common understanding already
in great measure exists; and that to enact new rubrics now, or
to remodel old ones, would look like an attempt to revivify a
principle of compliance which we have tacitly agreed to consider

The answer to this argument is not far to seek. If the Church
means to allow the Common Prayer, which hitherto has been regarded
as a liturgy, to lapse into the status of a directory; if, in other
words, she is content to see her manual of worship altered from a
book of instructions as to how Divine Service _shall_ be performed
into a book of suggestions as to how it _may_ be rendered, the
change ought to be officially and definitely announced, and not
left to individual inference or uncertain conjecture. We are
rapidly slipping into a position scarcely consistent with either
the dignity or the honor of a great Church--that of seeming
to be what we are not. To give it out to the public that we
are a law-respecting communion, and then to whisper it about
among ourselves that our laws bind only those who choose to be
bound by them, may serve as a convenient device for tiding over
a present difficulty, but is, oh the whole, a course of procedure
more likely to harden than to relieve tender consciences.

Take, by way of illustration, the case of a city clergyman who
would gladly introduce into his parish the usage of daily service,
but who is convinced, whether rightly or wrongly, that to secure
even a fair attendance of worshippers he ought to have the liberty
of so far condensing the Morning or the Evening Office as to bring
it within the limits of a quarter of an hour. He seeks relief
through the lawful channel of rubrical revision, and is only
laughed at for his pains. In this busy nineteenth century it is
nonsense, he is assured, to spend a dozen years in besieging so
obdurate a fortress as the General Convention. The way to secure
"shortened services" is to shorten services. This is easy logic,
and applicable in more directions than one. Only see how smoothly
it runs: If you want hymns that are not in the Hymnal, print them.
If you want a confessional-box, set it up. If you want a "reserved
sacrament," order the carpenter to make a tabernacle and the
locksmith to provide a bolt.[55] This is a far less troublesome
method of securing the ends desired than the tedious and roundabout
process of proposing a change at one meeting of the General
Convention, having your proposal knocked about among some forty
or fifty dioceses, and brought up for final action three years later.

And yet, superior as the former method may be to the latter in
point of celerity and directness, the latter has certain advantages
over the former that ought to be evident to men who are not
frightened by having their scrupulousness called scrupulosity.

Moreover, why should this whole matter be discussed, as so commonly
it is discussed, wholly from the clerical side? Have the laity no
rights in the liturgy which the clergy are bound to respect? When
and where did the Protestant Episcopal Church confer on its
ministers a general dispensing power over the ordinances of
worship which it withheld from the body of the faithful?

Heretofore it has been held that when a layman went to church he
had a right to expect certain things guaranteed him by the Church's
law. If all this has been changed, then formal notice ought to be
served upon us by the General Convention that such is the fact.


It is asked, and with no little show of plausibility, Why--in
the face of such manifold hostility and such persistent opposition,
why press the movement for revision any further? Is it worth while
to divide public sentiment in the Church upon a question that
looks to many to be scarcely more than a literary one? Why not
drop the whole thing, and let it fall into the limbo, where lie
already the _Proposed Book_ and the _Memorial Papers_? For this
reason, and it is sufficient: There has arisen in America a
movement toward Christian unity, the like of which has not been
seen since the country was settled. It is the confident belief
of many that the key to the situation lies with that Church which
more truly than any other may be said to represent the historical
Christianity of the peoples of English stock. One of the elements
in this larger movement is the question of the form of worship.
The chief significance of _The Book Annexed_ lies in the claim made
for it by its friends, that more adequately than the present
Standard it supplies what may fairly be demanded as their manual
of worship by a people circumstanced like ours. While, in one
sense, more English than the present book in that it restores
liturgical treasures lost at the Revolution, it is also more
thoroughly American, in that it recognizes and allows for many
needs which the newly enfranchised colonists of 1789 could not
have been expected to foresee.

The question is, Shall we turn a cold shoulder on the movement
churchward of our non-Anglican brethren of the reformed faith,
doing our best to chill their approaches with a hard _Non possumus_,
or shall we go out to meet them with words of welcome on our lips?
Union under "the Latin obedience" is impossible. For us, in the face
of the decrees of 1870, there can be "no peace with Rome." The
Greeks are a good way off. Our true "solidarity," if "solidarity"
is to be achieved at all, is not with Celts, but with our own kith
and kin, the children of the Reformation. Is it wise of us to say
to these fellow Christians of ours, adherents of the Catholic Faith
as well as we, "Nay, but the nearer you draw to us the farther we
mean to draw away from you; the more closely you approximate to
Anglican religion, the more closely shall we, for the sake of
differencing ourselves from you, approximate to Vatican religion?"

In better harmony with the apostolic temper, in truer continuity
with the early churchmanship, should we be found, were we to join
voices thus:

_V_. Come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.

_R_. And he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths.


_The Book Annexed_ may be said to hold to the possible standard
Common Prayer of 1890 a relation not unlike that of a clay model
to the statue which is to be. The material is still in condition
to be moulded; the end is not yet. It was in anticipation of this
state of things that the friends of revision in 1883 were anxious
to carry through the preliminary stage of acceptance as many of
their propositions as possible. To revert to our parable, the
modeller, in treating the face of his provisional image, must
be careful to lay on clay enough, or he may find himself barred
at the last moment from giving the features just that finishing
touch which is to make them ready for the marble. All the skill in
the world will not enable him to secure for the face precisely the
expression he would have it wear, if the _materia_ be insufficient.
Looked at in this light, the suggestion made by the Joint Committee
in the House of Deputies at an early stage of the session of 1883,
that the entire Book Annexed, in precisely the form in which it had
been submitted, should be passed, and sent down to the dioceses
for consideration, instead of being the arbitrary and unreasonable
demand it was reckoned by those who lifted their eyebrows at the
very mention of such a thing, was really a sensible proposition
which the Convention would have done well to heed.

Few, if any, critics of _The Book Annexed as Modified_ have
pronounced it an improvement to _The Book Annexed_ as presented.
The Book came out of the Convention less admirable than it went
in. As a school of Liturgies, the long debate at Philadelphia was
doubtless salutary and helpful, but whether the immediate results,
as shown in the emendation of the Joint Committee's work, were
equally deserving of praise is another question.

Nevertheless, as was argued in the paper of which this one is the
continuation, we must take things as we find them, not as we wish
they were; and since there is no other method of liturgical revision
known to our laws than revision by popular debate, to revision by
popular debate we must reconcile ourselves as best we may.
Regrets are idle. Let us be thankful that the amicable struggle
at Philadelphia had for its outcome so large rather than so small
a mass of workable material, and instead of accounting _The Book
Annexed_ to be what one of the signers of the Joint Committee's
Report has lately called it, "a melancholy production," recognize
in it the germ of something exceedingly to be desired. From
the first, there has never been any disposition on the part of
sober-minded friends of Revision to carry through their scheme
with a rush; the delay that is likely to better things they will
welcome; the only delay they deprecate is the delay that kills.

The changes enumerated in the "Notification to the Dioceses," and
illustrated to the eye in _The Book Annexed_ as Modified, may be
broadly classified under the following heads:

(_a_) Clearly desirable alterations, with respect to which there
is practically unanimous consent, and for which there is immediate
demand, _e_. _g_., shortened offices of week-day prayer.

(_b_) Alterations desirable in the main, but likely to be more
cordially acquiesced in, could still further improvement be
secured, _e_. _g_., the new versicles introduced into Evening
Prayer after the Creed.

(_c_) Alterations generally accounted undesirable on any terms,
e. g., the permissive rubrics with respect to the reading of
certain psalms during Lent, instead of the regular responds to
the First and Second Lessons of the Evening Prayer.

The question arises, Is any course of action possible that will
give us without delay the changes which for some fifteen years the
whole Church has been laboring to secure; that will give us, with
a reasonable delay of three years longer, the confessed improvements
a little more improved; while at the same time we are kept from
becoming involved in the wretched confusion sure to result from
putting into circulation, within a brief period, two authorized
but diverse books of Common Prayer? This threefold question it is
proposed to meet with a threefold affirmative.


The end we ought to have in view is the publication, in the year
1890, of a standard Book of Common Prayer, such as shall embody
the ripe results of what will then have been a period of ten years
of continuous labor in the work of liturgical revision. To this
reckoning of ten years should properly be added the seventeen years
that intervened between the presentation of "The Memorial" in 1853
and the passing of the "Enrichment Resolutions" in 1880: so that
really our Revision would look back for its historical beginnings,
not across a decade merely, but over almost the lifetime of a
generation. No single one of the various revisions of the English
Book has observed anything like so leisurely a movement.

But by what methods of legislative procedure could such a result
as the one indicated be reached? The precedent of the last century
does not help us very much. The American Book of Common Prayer was
set forth on the sixteenth day of October in the year of our Lord
1789; but with an express statutory provision that the "use" of
the book, as so set forth, should not become obligatory till the
first day of October, 1790. We cannot copy this line of procedure,
for the simple reason that no such undertaking as that of 1789 is
in hand. It is not now proposed to legislate into existence a new
Liturgy. The task before us is the far humbler one of passing
judgment upon certain propositions of change, almost every one
of which admits of segregation, has an independent identity of its
own, and may be accepted or rejected wholly without reference to
what is likely to happen to the other propositions that accompany

_The Book Annexed as Modified_ is in no proper sense a _Proposed
Book_, nor can it without misrepresentation be called such; it is
simply a sample publication[56] illustrative of what the Book of
Common Prayer would be, were all the Resolutions of Revision that
passed their first stage of approval in 1883 carried into final
effect; a result most unlikely to occur.


The most expeditious and every way satisfactory means to the end
that has now been defined would be the appointment, at an early
stage of the session in October, of a Joint Committee of Conference.
To this committee should be referred:

(_a_) The question: How many of the Resolutions of 1883, or of
the "several recommendations therein contained," is it either
practicable or desirable to approve at once?

(_b_) The question: How may such of the Resolutions of 1883 as
are too good to be lost, but not in their present form good enough
to satisfy the Church, be so remoulded as to make their adoption
probable in 1889?

(_c_) All new propositions of improvement that may from time to
time during the session be brought to the notice of the Convention,
either by individual members or by memorials from Diocesan
Conventions. Such a Committee of Conference, holding daily
sessions of three or four hours each, would be able in due
time to report a carefully digested scheme which could then be
intelligently discussed. By this method a flood of frivolous and
aimless talk would be cut off without in the slightest degree
infringing or limiting the real liberty of debate.

But even if the Convention were to show itself reluctant to give
to a select committee so large a power as this of preparing an
_agenda_ paper, it still would be possible to refer to such a
committee the subject-matter of so many of the resolutions as
might chance, when put upon their passage, to fail by a narrow vote.

It is to be remembered that the various recommendations contained
in the resolutions of 1883 are to be voted upon _in ipsissimis
verbis_. There will be no opportunity for the familiar cry: "Mr.
President, I rise to propose an amendment." The resolution, or the
section of a resolution, as the case may be, will either be approved
just as it stands or condemned just as it stands. In this respect
there will be an immense saving of time. Most of the tediousness
of debate grows out of the natural disposition of legislators to
try each his own hand at bettering the thing proposed; hence
"amendments," "amendments to amendments," and substitutes for the
amendment to the amendment. Even the makers of parliamentary law
(much enduring creatures) lose their patience at this point, and
peremptorily lay it down that confusion shall no further go.

But to return to the supposed case of a proposition lost because
of some slight defect, which, if only our Medo-Persian law had
permitted an amendment, could easily have been remedied. Surely
the sensible course in such a case as that would be to refer the
subject-matter of the lost resolution to the Committee of Conference,
with instructions to report a new resolution to be finally acted
upon three years hence. So then, whether there be given to the
Committee of Conference either the large power to recommend a
carefully thought out way of dealing with all the material _en
bloc_, or the lesser function of sitting in judgment on new
propositions, and of remoulding rejected ones, in either case
there could scarcely fail to result from the appointment of such
a committee large and substantial gains.


It follows, from what has been said, that if there are features
that admit of improvement in the proposals which the Convention
has laid before the Church for scrutiny, now is emphatically the
time for suggesting the better thing that might be done. Even the
bitterest opponents of _The Book Annexed_ can scarcely be so
sanguine as to imagine that nothing at all is coming from this
labored movement for revision. A measure which was so far forth
acceptable to the accredited representatives of the Church, in
council assembled, as to pass its first stage three years ago
almost by acclamation, is not destined to experience total collapse.
The law of probabilities forbids the supposition. The personal
make-up of the next General Convention will be to a great extent
identical with that of the last, and of the one before the last.
Sober-minded men familiar with the work of legislation are not
accustomed to reverse their own well considered decisions without
weighty cause. The strong probability is that something in the
line of emendation, precisely how much or how little no one can
say, will, as a matter of fact, be done. In view of this likelihood,
would not those who are dissatisfied with _The Book Annexed_ as
it stands be taking the wiser course were they to substitute
co-operative for vituperative criticism? So far as the present
writer is in any sense authorized to speak for the friends of
revision, he can assure the dissidents that such co-operation
would be most welcome.

A. B., a scholar thoroughly familiar, we will suppose, with the
sources of liturgical material, is dissatisfied with the collects
proposed for the successive days of Holy Week. Very well, he has
a perfect right to his dissatisfaction and to the expression of
it in the strongest terms at his command. He does only his plain
duty in seeking to exclude from the Prayer Book anything that
seems to him unworthy of a place in it. But seeing that he must
needs, as a "liturgical expert," acknowledge that the deficiency
which the Joint Committee sought to make good is a real and not
a merely fancied deficiency, would not A. B. approve himself a
more judicious counsellor if, instead of bending all his energy
to the disparagement of the collects proposed, he should devote a
portion of it to the discovery and suggestion of prayers more
happily worded?

And this remark holds good with reference to whatever new feature
is to be found between the covers of The Book Annexed. If
betterment be possible, these six months now lying before us
afford the time of all times in which to show how, with the least
of loss and most of gain, it may be brought about.

The Diocese of Maryland is first in the field with an adequate
contribution of this sort. A thoroughly competent committee,
appointed in October, 1884, has recently printed its Report, and
whether the Diocesan Convention adopt, amend, or reject what is
presented to it, there can be little doubt that the mind of the
Church at large will be perceptibly affected by what these
representative men of Maryland have said.[57] Apart from a
certain aroma of omniscience pervading it (with which, by the
way, sundry infelicities of language in the text of the Report,
only indifferently consort), the document, is a forcible one, and
of great practical value.

The Committee have gone over the entire field covered by the
"Notification to the Dioceses," taking up the Resolutions one
by one, and not only noting in connection with each whatever is
in itself objectionable, but also (a far more difficult task)
suggesting in what respect this or that proposition might be
better put. The _apparatus criticus_ thus provided, while not
infallible, is eminently helpful, sets a wholesome pattern, and
if supplemented by others of like tenor and scope, will go far
to lighten the labor of whatever committee may have the final
recension of the whole work put into its hands.[58]

It would be a poor self-conceit in the framers of _The Book
Annexed_, that should prompt them to resent as intrusive any
criticism whatsoever. What we all have at heart is the bringing
of our manual of worship as nearly as possible to such a pitch
of perfectness as the nature of things human will allow. The thing
we seek is a Liturgy which shall draw to itself everything that
is best and most devout within our national borders, a Common
Prayer suited to the common wants of all Americans. Whatever
truly makes for this end, it will be our wisdom to welcome, whether
those who bring it forward are popularly labelled as belonging
to this, that, or the other school of Churchmanship. To allow
party jealousies to mar the symmetry and fulness of a work in which
all Churchmen ought to have an equal inheritance would be the worst
of blunders. By all means let the raiment of needlework and the
clothing of wrought gold be what they should be for such sacred
uses as hers who is the daughter of the great King, but let us not
fall to wrangling about the vats in which the thread was dyed or
the river bed from which the gold was gathered.

In a later paper the present writer intends to venture upon a task
similar to that undertaken by the Maryland Committee. He will do
this largely in the hope of encouraging by example other and more
competent critics to busy themselves in the same way. Meanwhile a
few observations may not be amiss with respect to the sources of
liturgical material, and the methods by which they can be drawn
upon to the best advantage.

There has been, first and last, a deal of ill considered talk
about the boundlessness of the liturgical treasures lying unused
in the pre-Reformation formularies of the English Church, as well
as in the old sacramentaries and office-books of the East and the
West. Wonder is expressed that with such limitless wealth at its
command, an "Enrichment Committee" should have brought in so
poverty-stricken a Report. Have we not Muratori and Mabillon? it
is asked: Daniel and Assemani, Renaudot and Goar? Are there not
Missals Roman, Ambrosian, and Mozarabic? Breviaries Anglican,
Gallican, and Quignonian? Has Maskell delved and Neale translated
and Littledale compiled in vain? To all of which there are two
replies, namely: first, It is inexpedient to overload a Prayer
Book, even if the material be of the best; and secondly, This best
material is by no means so abundant as the volume of our resources
would seem to suggest. It was for the very purpose of escaping
redundancy and getting rid of surplusage that the Anglican Reformers
condensed Missal, Breviary, and Rituale into the one small and
handy volume known as the First Prayer Book of Edward VI. It was
a bold stroke, doubtless denounced as perilously radical at the
time; but experience has justified Cranmer and his friends. In the
whole history of liturgies there is no record of a wiser step. It
is scarcely possible so grievously to sin against a people's Prayer
Book as by making it more complicated in arrangement and more bulky
in volume than need actually requires. It was ground of justifiable
 pride with the "Enrichment Committee" that the Book which they
brought in, despite the many additions it contained, was no thicker
by a single page than the Prayer Book as it is. To be sure, the
General Convention spoiled all this by insisting on retaining
certain duplicated formularies which the Committee had very properly
dropped in order to find room for fresh material. But of the Book
as first presented, it was possible to say that in no degree was
it more cumbrous than that to which the people were already
accustomed. Doubtless it would have been still more to the
Committee's credit could they have brought in an enriched Book
smaller by a third than the Book in use; but this their conservatism

Of even greater moment is the other point, which concerns the
quality of the available material. It is the greatest mistake in
the world to suppose that simply because a given prayer exists,
say in an Oriental liturgy, and has been translated into English
by an eminent scholar, it is therefore proper material to be worked
into our services. As a matter of fact, a great deal of devotional
language of which the Oriental liturgies is made up is prolix and
tedious to a degree simply insufferable. Moreover in the case of
prayers in themselves admirable in the original tongue in which
they were composed, all is often lost through lack of a verbal
felicity in the translation. If anyone questions this judgment,
let him toil through Neale's and Littledale's _Translations of
the Primitive Liturgies_ and see whether he can find six, nay,
three, consecutive lines which he would be willing to see introduced
into our own Communion Office. Or, as respects translations
from the Latin office-books of the Church of England, let him
scrupulously search the pages of the "Sarum Hours," as done
into the vernacular by the Recorder of Salisbury, and see how
many of the Collects strike him as good enough to be transplanted
into the Book of Common Prayer. The result of this latter voyage
of discovery will be an increased wonder at the affluence of the
mediaeval devotions, combined with amazement at the poverty and
unsatisfactoriness of the existing translations. It is with a Latin
collect as with a Greek ode or an Italian sonnet: no matter how
wonderful the diction, the charm of it is as a locked secret until
the thing has been Englished by genius akin to his who first made
it out of his own heart. Of others besides the many brave men who
lived before Agamemnon might it be written:

    sed omnes illacrumabiles
  Urgentur, ignotique larga
  Nocte, carent quia vate sacro.

It was the peculiar felicity of Schiller that he had Coleridge for
a translator, and the shades of Gregory and Leo owe it to a living
Anglican divine that we English-speaking Christians can think their
thoughts after them, and pray their prayers.

Such being the facts in the case, it is evident that the range of
choice open to American revisers is far narrower than half-informed
persons imagine it to be.

The very best sources of liturgical material are the following:

(_a_) King James's Bible, including the Apocrypha, and supplemented
by the Prayer Book version of the Psalms;

(_b_) The old Sacramentaries, Leonine, Gregorian, and Gelasian,
chiefly as illustrated by the genius of Dr. Bright;

(_c_) The Breviary in its various forms;

(_d_) The Primers and other like _fragmenta_ of the era of the
English Reformation;[59]

(_e_) The devotional writings of the great Anglican divines of the
school of Andrews, Ken, and Taylor;[60] and last and least,

(_f_) The various manuals of prayer, of which the past twenty years
have shown themselves so prolific.[61]

Of the Anglican writers, Jeremy Taylor would be by far the most
helpful, were it not for the efflorescence of his style. As it is,
the best use that can be made of his exuberant devotions is to cull
from them here and there a telling phrase or a musical cadence.
The "General Intercession," for example, on page 50 of _The Book
Annexed_, is a cento to which Taylor is the chief contributor.

That the Enrichment Committee made the best possible use of the
various quarries to which they had access is unlikely. Even if they
credited themselves with having done so, it would be immodest of
them to say it. Better material than any that their researches
brought to light may still be lying near the surface, somewhere
close at hand, waiting to be unearthed. Certainly this paper will
not have been written in vain if it serves the purpose of provoking
to the good work of discovery some of those who on the score both
of quality and of quantity account what has been thus far done in
the line of revision inadequate and meagre.


It is next proposed to take up the Philadelphia Resolutions of
Revision (1883) one by one, and to consider in what measure, if
in any, the subject-matter of each of them lies open to improvement.

Should the method of procedure recommended in the previous
paper, or any method resembling it, find favor at the approaching
Convention, and a Conference Committee of the two Houses be
appointed to remould the work with reference to final action
three years hence, criticism of this sort, even though inadequate,
can scarcely fail of being in some measure helpful.


_The Title-page _.

The proposals under this head are two in number: (_a _) that the
words, "together with the Psalter or Psalms of David," be dropped
from the title-page as superfluous, and (_b _) that a general title,
"THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER," be printed on the first page of the
leaf preceding the title-page.

Neither of these suggestions is of any great importance, and the
interest attaching to them is mainly bibliographical. Whenever any
addition has been made to the Prayer Book of the Church of England,
the rule has been to note it invariably in the Table of Contents,
and sometimes also on the title-page.

Until 1662 the Psalter formed no part of the Prayer Book; it was
a volume by itself, and was cited as such. In fact, it was a sort
of "Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer." In the revision
of 1662 the Psalter was incorporated, and immediately there appeared
upon the title-page of the Common Prayer, in addition to what had
been there before, the words, "together with the Psalter or Psalms
of David printed as they are to be sung or read in the churches."
The present title-page of the English Book has a singularly crowded
and awkward look, contrasting most unfavorably in this regard with
those of 1559, 1552, and 1549.[62] But if the needless mention of
the Psalter on our present title-page gives pleasure to any
considerable number of people, it would be foolish to press the
suggestion of a change. Let it pass.

Of a more serious character would be the omission, which some
urge, of the words "Protestant Episcopal" from the title-page.
Should anything of this sort be done, which is most unlikely, Dr.
Egar's suggestion to drop the words, "of the Protestant Episcopal
Church," leaving it to read, "according to the use in the United
States of America," would carry the better note of catholicity.

But, after all, the remonstrants have only to turn the page to
find the obnoxious "Protestant Episcopal" so fast riveted into
the _Ratification_ that nothing short of an act of violence done
to history could accomplish the excision of it.[63]


_The Introductory Portion_.

(a) _Table of Contents_.--The suggestion[64] that all entries
after "The Psalter" should be printed in italics, is a good one.

(b) _Concerning the Service of the Church_.--This substitute for
the present "Order how the Psalter is appointed to be read" and
"Order how the rest of the Holy Scripture is appointed to be read"
is largely based on the provisions of the so-called "Shortened
Services Act" of 1872. The second paragraph relating to the use
of the Litany appears to be superfluous.

The enlarged Table of Proper Psalms and the Table of Selections of
Psalms, which come under this same general heading, would be a very
great gain. Why the Maryland Committee should have pronounced the
latter Table "practically useless, since the psalms are not to be
printed," it is hard, in the face of the existing usage with
respect to "Proper Psalms," to understand; nor is there any special
felicity in the proposal emanating from the same source that the
number of the Selections be cut down to three, one for feasts and
one for fasts and one for an extra service on Sunday nights.

On the other hand, the Maryland Committee does well in recommending
that permission be given to the minister to shorten the Lessons at
his discretion, though the hard and fast condition, "provided he
read not less than fifteen consecutive verses," apart from the
questionable English in which it is phrased, smacks more of the
drill-room than of the sanctuary. Far better would it be (if the
suggestion may be ventured) to allow no liberty of abridgment
whatever in the case of Proper Lessons, while giving entire freedom
of choice on all occasions for which no proper lessons have been
appointed. So far as "ferial" days are concerned, it would be much
wiser to let the Table of Lessons be regarded as suggestive and
not mandatory. The half-way recognition of this principle in the
new Lectionary, in which such a freedom is allowed, _provided_ the
Lesson taken be one of those appointed for "some day in the same
week," seems open to a suspicion of childishness.

The rubrical direction entitled "Hymns and Anthems" requires
verbal correction, but embodies a wholesome principle.

Under this same general head of "The Introductory Portion" come the
new Lectionary and the new Tables for finding Easter. Of these, the
former is law already, except so far as respects the Lessons
appointed for the proposed Feast of the Transfiguration. The Easter
Tables are a monument to the erudition and accuracy of the late
Dr. Francis Harison. The Tables in our present Standard run to the
year 1899. Perhaps a "wholesome conservatism" ought to discover a
tincture of impiety in any proposal to disturb them before the
century has expired.


_The Morning Prayer_.

(a) _The First Rubric_.--The Maryland Committee is quite right
in remarking that the language of this important rubric, as set
forth by the Convention of 1883, is "inelegant and inaccurate,"
but another diocese has called attention to the fact that the
substitute which Maryland offers would, if adopted, enable any
rector who might be so minded to withhold entirely from the
non-communicating portion of his flock all opportunity for _public_
confession and absolution from year's end to year's end. It is not
for a moment to be supposed that there was any covert intention
here, but the incident illustrates the value to rubric-makers of
the Horatian warning--_Brevis esse labor o, obscurus fio_.

Passing by the Proper Sentences for special Days and Seasons,
against which no serious complaint has been entered,[65] we come
to the proposed short alternative for the Declaration of Absolution.
As it stood in the Sarum Use this Absolution ran as follows:

"The Almighty and Merciful Lord grant you Absolution and Remission
of all your sins, space for true penitence, amendment of life, and
the grace and consolation of the Holy Spirit. Amen."[66]

With the single change of the word "penitence" to "repentance" this
is the form in which the Absolution stood in the original _Book
Annexed_. The Convention thought that it detected a "Romanizing
germ" in the place assigned to "penitence," and an archaism in the
temporal sense assigned to "space," and accordingly rearranged the
whole sentence. But in their effort to mend the language, our
legislators assuredly marred the music.[67]

(e) _The Benedictus es, Domine_.--The insertion of this Canticle
as an alternate to the _Te Deum_ was in the interest of shortened
services for week-day use, as has been already explained. The same
purpose could be served equally well, and the always objectionable
expedient of a second alternate avoided, by spacing off the last
six verses of the _Benedicite_, which have an integrity of their
own, and prefixing a rubric similar to those that stand before the
_Venite_ and the _Benedictus_ in "_The Book Annexed_"; e. g.:

_On week-days, it shall suffice if only the latter portion of
this Canticle be said or sung_.

(n) _The Benedictus_.--With reference to the restoration of the
last portion of this Hymn, it has been very properly remarked by
one of the critics of _The Book Annexed_, that the line of division
between the required and the optional portions would more properly
come after the eighth than after the fourth verse. This would make
the portion reserved for Advent begin with the reference to John
the Baptist, as undoubtedly it ought to do: "And thou, child, shalt
be called the Prophet of the Highest."

(o) _De Profundis_.--There will probably be general consent to the
omission of this alternate, as being what the Maryland Committee
_naively_ call it, "too mournful a psalm" for this purpose.[68]


_Daily Evening Prayer_.

(c) The proposed words, "Let us humbly confess our sins unto
Almighty God," are justly thought by many to be inferior both
in rhythm and in dignity to "Let us make humble confession to
Almighty God."

(i)-(l) There seems to be absolute unanimity in the judgment that
_Magnificat_ and _Nunc Dimittis_ ought, as Gospel Hymns, to have
the prior places after the Lessons which they follow. In the
interest of simplicity of arrangement a like general consent to
omit altogether _Bonum est confiteri_ and _Benedic anima mea_ would
be most fortunate, but this point has been already enlarged upon
in a previous paper.[69]

The "Notes," permitting the use of Psalms xlii. and xliii. after
the Lessons during Lent, seem to have found no favor in any quarter,
and ought undoubtedly to be dropped.

(n) If the lost versicles are to be restored after the Creed, as
all who have learned to love them in the service of the Church of
England must earnestly desire, some better substitute for "God save
the queen," than "O Lord, save our rulers," ought surely to be
found.[70] Moreover, the order of the versicles, as Prof. Gold
has clearly pointed out,[71] is open to improvement.


_The Beatitudes of the Gospel_.

This is the one feature of _The Book Annexed_ against which the
fire of hostile criticism has been the most persistently directed.
Whether the strictures passed upon the Office have been in all
cases as intelligent as they have been severe, may be open to
question, but there can be no doubt whatever that, in its present
form, Resolution V. would, if put to the vote, be rejected.

Passing by the more violent utterances of those whose language
almost suggests that they find something objectionable in the
very BEATITUDES themselves,[72] it will suffice to consider
and weigh what has been said in various quarters, first, about
the unprecedented character of the Office, and secondly, concerning
the infelicity of the appointed response, "Lord, have mercy upon
us, and be it unto thy servants according to thy word."

So far as concerns precedent, it ought to be enough to say that
the words are our Lord's words, and that they were thrown by him
into a form which readily lends itself to antiphonal use. The very
same characteristics of parallelism and antithesis, that make the
Psalms so amenable to the purposes of worship, are conspicuous in
the BEATITUDES. If the Church of England, for three hundred years,
has been willing to give place in her devotions to the Curses of
the Old Testament,[73] we of America need not to be afraid,
precedent or no precedent, to make room among our formularies for
the Blessings of the New.

Those who allow themselves to characterize the liturgical use of
these memorable sayings of the Son of Man as "fancy ritual" and
"sentimentalism" may well pause to ask themselves what manner of
spirit they are of. The BEATITUDES are the charter of the kingdom
of heaven. If they are "sentimental," the kingdom is "sentimental";
but if, on the other hand, they constitute the organic law of the
People of God, they have at least as fair a right as the Ten
Commandments to be published from the altar, and answered by the
great congregation.

But is the complaint of "no precedent" a valid one, even supposing
considerations of intrinsic fitness to have been ruled out?

The Liturgy of St. Chrysostom provides that the Beatitudes shall
be sung on Sundays in room of the third antiphon.[74]

The learned Bishop of Haiti, in a paper warmly commending the
liturgical use of the BEATITUDES,[75] calls attention to the
further fact that the Eight Sayings have a place in some of the
service-books of the Eastern Church in the Office for the Sixth and
Ninth Hours, and notes the suggestive and touching circumstances
that, as there used, they have for a response the words of the
penitent thief upon the cross. We might all of us well pray to be
"remembered" in that kingdom to which these Blessings give the law.

In _The Primer set forth by the King's Majesty and his Clergy_ in
1545, a sort of stepping-stone to the later "Book of Common Prayer,"
we find the BEATITUDES very ingeniously worked into the Office of
The Hours, as anthems; beginning with Prime and ending with
Evensong. Appropriate Collects are interwoven, some of them so
beautiful as to be well worth preserving.[76]

But the most interesting precedent of all remains still to be
studied. In the first year of the reign of William and Mary, a
Royal Commission was appointed to revise the Book of Common Prayer.
The most eminent Anglican divines of the day, including Tillotson,
Stillingfleet, Patrick, and Beveridge, were among the members. To
all outward appearance the movement came to naught; for the proposed
revision was not even put into print, until in 1854, the House of
Commons, in response to a motion of Mr. Heywood, ordered it to be
published as a Blue-book. And yet in some way our American revisers
of 1789 must have found access to the original volume as it lay
hidden in the archbishop's library at Lambeth; for not only does
their work show probable evidence of such consultation, but in their
Preface they distinctly refer to the effort of King William's
Commission as a "great and good work,"[77] a thing they would
scarcely have done had they possessed no real knowledge of the
facts. Macaulay's sneering reference to the work of the Commission
is well known, but, strangely enough, the justice which a Whig
reviewer withholds, a high Anglican divine concedes, for no less
exacting a critic than Dr. Neale, while manifesting, as was to be
expected, a general dislike of the Commissioners of 1689, and of
their work, does yet find something to praise in what they

Among the real improvements suggested by the Commission was the
liturgical use of the BEATITUDES, and this in two places, once in
"The Order for the Administration of the Lord's Supper," as an
alternate to the Ten Commandments; and again in the Commination
Office as a proper balance to the Anathemas of the Law.

But the Commission, like the late Joint Committee on the Book of
Common Prayer, was unfortunate in its choice of a response; and no
wonder, for the task of finding the proper one is difficult.[79]

A Beatitude differs from a Commandment in that while the latter
enjoins the former only declares. The one therefore simply calls
for assent, or, at most, assent coupled with petition, while the
other peremptorily demands a cry for mercy. The immemorial form of
the cry for mercy in the devotions of Christendom is the "Kyrie
eleison," _Lord, have mercy upon us_; the immemorial form of assent
the word _Amen_. Can we do better, therefore, in adapting the
BEATITUDES to liturgical use than to treat them precisely as the
Curses are treated in the Commination Office of the Church of
England, namely, by inserting after each one of them a plain

This recommendation has the great merit of simplicity. Two or three
strikingly ingenious schemes for supplying each of the Eight Sayings
with a proper response of its own have been suggested;[80] but the
objection to them is that, beautiful though they are, their
complexity would embarrass and distress the kneeling worshipper.
In these matters, practical drawbacks have to be taken into account
as well as abstract excellencies, and no matter how felicitous the
antiphonal responses, they would be worse than useless were a
puzzled congregation to refuse to join in them.

There will be found appended to this Paper a plan for recasting
the Office of the BEATITUDES in such a way as to make it coincide
structurally, as far as it goes, with the introductory portion
of the Holy Communion.[81] Were the Office to be thus set forth,
it would be possible on week-days, and with singular appropriateness
on Saints' Days, to substitute the BEATITUDES for the Commandments,
without encumbering the Communion Office with an alternate. Should
this suggestion find acceptance, the two Collects in the present
Office of BEATITUDES, which are far too good to be lost, one of
them being the modified form of a Leonine original, and the other
one of the very best of Canon Bright's own compositions, might be
transferred to a place among the "Occasional Prayers."


_The Litany_.

The rubrics prefixed to the Litany are a gain, but except by the
addition of the two new suffrages, the one for the President and
the other for the increase of the ministry, it will probably be
best to leave the text of this formulary untouched. Even in the
case of the new petitions it would be well if they could be
grafted upon suffrages already existing, a thing that might easily
be done.[82]

It would be a liturgical improvement if the Litany, in its shortened
form, were to end at the _Christe_, _audi_, and the minister
directed to return, at this point, to the General Thanksgiving
in the Morning Prayer. This would divide the Litany symmetrically,
instead of arbitrarily, as is now done, and would remove the General
Thanksgiving from a place to which it has little claim either by
historical precedent or natural congruity.

The greatest improvement of all would be the restoration of the
august and massive words of invocation which of old stood at the
beginning of the Litany. The modern invocations have a dignity of
their own, but they are not to be compared for devotional power and
simple majesty with the more ancient ones. But for an "enrichment"
so good as this, it is too much to hope.


_Prayers and Thanksgivings_.

The Maryland Committee[83] have much to say in criticism of this
section, and offer many valuable suggestions, the best of them being
a recommendation to print the Prayer entitled, "For Grace to speak
the Truth in Love," in Canon Bright's own words. Some of their
comments, on the other hand, suggest canons of criticism which,
if applied to "The Prayer Book as it is," would make havoc of its
choicest treasures.[84]

The Committee of Central New York[85] go much further in the line
of destructive criticism than their brethren of Maryland, and after
excepting four of the proposed prayers, condemn all the rest to

Possibly this is just judgment, but those who have searched
diligently the storehouses of devotional English, will think
twice before they consent to it. No doubt the phraseology of some
of the proposed prayers might be improved. In view of the searching
criticism to which for three years it has been exposed, it would
be strange indeed if such were not found to be the case. But the
collection as a whole, instead of suffering loss, ought to receive
increment. At least three or four more prayers for the work of
missions in its various aspects ought to be added, also a Prayer
for the furtherance of Christian Education in Schools and Colleges.
As Br. Dowden shrewdly asks, in speaking of spiritual needs which
we postpone expressing for lack of language sufficiently artistic
in form, "What is the measure of our faith in the efficacy of united
prayer, when we are content to go on, year after year, and never
come together to ask God to supply those needs?"[86]

There is one consideration connected with this supply of special
prayers too frequently lost out of sight. While it is perfectly
true that the Book of Common Prayer was never designed to be a
_Treasury of Devotion_ for individuals, it is equally true that
for thousands and hundreds of thousands of our fellow-countrymen
who live remote from "Church book-stores," or lack the means of
patronizing them, the Prayer Book is, as a matter of fact, their
only devotional help. In countless households, moreover, many of
them beyond "Protestant Episcopal" borders altogether, the Prayer
Book is doing a work only less beneficent than it might do, were we
to concede a very little more to that outwardly illogical but
spiritually self-consistent policy which, breaking away, a century
ago, from the chain of precedent, inserted in the American Book
"The Forms of Prayer to be used in Families."


_Penitential Office for Ash-Wednesday_.

This is the English Commination Office, with the introductory
portion omitted. It would add to the merit of the formulary,
especially when used as a separate office, were it to be prefaced
by the versicle and response, similarly employed in the Hereford

_V_. Let us confess unto the Lord, for he is gracious.

_R_. And his mercy endureth forever.

In view of the great length of the Morning Service on Ash-Wednesday,
and the close similarity between the closing portion of the Litany
and the intermediate portion of this Office, the following emendation
of the first Rubric is suggested, a change which would carry with
it the omission of the Rubric after psalm li. a little further on.

_On the_ First Day of Lent, _at_ Morning Prayer, _the Office
ensuing shall be read immediately after the words_, Have mercy
upon us, _in the Litany, and in place of what there followeth_.

In the third Rubric it might be well to add to "_shall be said_"
the words, "_or sung_."

The blessing at the end of the office should stand, as in the
English Book, in the precatory form; otherwise we might have the
anomaly of a benediction pronounced before the end of the service.


_Thanksgiving-day or Harvest-home_.

The only alteration needed in this office is the restoration of
the beautiful prayer for unity to its own proper wording as given
in the so-called "Accession Service" appended to the English Prayer
Book. As it stands in _The Book Annexed_ the language of the prayer
is possibly ungrammatical and certainly redundant. A critic,
already more than once quoted,[87] protests against the prominence
given to this office in _The Book Annexed_, ascribing it to
influences born of the associations of New England. But although
the motive of the revisers might have had a worse origin than that
of which the reviewer complains, the actual fact is that the
formulary was placed where it is purely in consideration of the
liturgical fitness of things; it having been held that the proper
position for an Office of Thanksgiving must be in immediate sequence
to an Office of Penitence.

It is with sincere diffidence that the present writer differs
with _The Seminarian_, on a point of historical precedent, but
he ventures to suggest that to find the prototype of Harvest-home
we must go back far beyond New England, and for that matter far
beyond Old England, nay, beyond the Christian era itself, even
to the day when it was said, "Thou shalt observe the Feast of
Tabernacles, seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn
and thy wine." Doubtless there is a joy greater than the "joy of
harvest," and to this we give expression in the Eucharist; but
doubtless also the joy of harvest is in itself a proper joy and
one which finds fitting utterance in such forms of prayer and
praise as this.


_Collects, Epistles, and Gospels_.

No department of liturgical revision calls for a nicer touch than
that which includes the Collects. That new collects for certain
unsupplied feasts and fasts would be a genuine enrichment of The
Book of Common Prayer, has long been generally acknowledged among
Anglican scholars. The most weighty fault to be found with the
collects added by the revisers is that in too large proportion
they are addressed to the second and third Persons of the Holy
Trinity. The Eucharist itself, as a whole, is properly conceived
of as addressed to the Eternal Father. The Collects, as forming
part of the Eucharistic Office, ought, strictly speaking, to be
also so addressed. It is true that there are exceptions to this
rule, and they are found, some of them, in the Prayer Book as it
is. But the revisers ought not to have altered the proportion so
markedly as they have done, for whereas in our present Book the
collects addressed to the Father are as eighty-three to three
compared with those not so addressed, the ratio in _The Book
Annexed_ is that of eleven to three.

Moreover, there would seem to be no good reason for reverting to
the usage of the First Book of Edward VI., which provides a second
Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for the two great feasts of Christmas
and Easter. A better way would be to take these additional collects,
which are among the most beautiful in the language, and assign them
respectively to the Sunday after Christmas, and the Monday in


_The Holy Communion_.

To the few changes proposed in this Office, comparatively slight
exception has been taken in any quarter. It will probably be
wise to leave the language of the Prayer of Consecration wholly
untouched, notwithstanding the alleged grammatical error near the
end of it.

The Rubric which it has been proposed to append to the Office,
touching the number of communicants without which it shall not be
lawful to administer the Sacrament, being of a disciplinary rather
than of a liturgical character, ought not to be urged. The proposal
to transfer the Prayer of Humble Access to a place immediately
before the Communion appears to be very generally acceptable.

It would relieve many worshippers who scruple as Christians at
responding to the Fourth Commandment on the score of its Judaic
character, if the language of the rubric prefixed to the Decalogue
could contain, as did the corresponding rubric in Laud's Book for
Scotland, a clause indicative of the mystical and spiritual sense
in which the Law should be interpreted by those who live under the
Gospel. But such a proposal would probably be accounted "of
doctrine," and so be self-condemned.

Of the desirability of allowing a week-day use of the BEATITUDES
in the room of the COMMANDMENTS enough has been already said.



The permission to use a form of presentation instead of, or in
addition to, the Preface is likely to be widely welcomed. The
other _addenda_ to this office, being apparently distasteful (for
unlike reasons) to all the "schools of thoughts" in the Church,
are likely to fail of acceptance; and on the whole may easily be


_Visitation of the Sick_.

The proposed Commendatory Prayer, though in some of its features
strikingly felicitous, is open to formal improvement. The addition
of a short _Litany of the Dying_ would be appreciated by those
whose ministry is largely exercised among the sick.


_Burial of the Dead_.

By far the most important section of this Resolution is the one
providing for the insertion of special features when the office
is used at the burial of children. The provision, or at least the
suggestion, of a more appropriate Lesson would be wise, but for
the rest, the office is almost all that could be wished.

A recent critic[88] raises the question, "Why single out infants
alone for a special service? Why not forms for rich men and poor
men--old men and maidens--widows and orphans?" And yet our Lord
Jesus Christ did single out little children in a very striking and
wonderful manner, and drew a distinction between them and us which
may well justify our treating their obsequies with a peculiar
tenderness. Even Rome, _Mater dura infantum_ as she has been
sometimes thought, is studious to consult in this point the natural
affections of the bereaved, and appoints a funeral mass distinct
from that appointed for the dead in general.

Bishop Seabury felt the need of a rite of this sort and prepared
one, but whether it was ever in actual use among the clergy of
Connecticut the writer is not informed. Many, very many, since
Seabury's day, have felt the same need, and it is safe to say that
no one feature of _The Book Annexed_ has enjoyed so universal a
welcome as this rightful concession to the demands of the parental


The survey of corrigenda is now complete. The list looks like a
long one, but really the points noted are few compared with those
which have passed unchallenged. Here and there in the Resolutions
that have not been considered are words or phrases that admit of
improvement, and which in an actual and authorized re-review by
a Committee of Conference would undoubtedly be improved.

The bulk of the work has, for a period of three years, stood the
incessant fire of a not always friendly criticism far better than
could have been anticipated by those who in the first instance
gave it shape. The difficulties of the task have been immense. That
they have not all of them been successfully overcome is clear
enough, but that they were faced with an honest purpose to be
just and fair, and that this purpose was clung to persistently
throughout, is a credit which Churchmen of the next generation
will not withhold from those who sought to be of service to them.

It remains to be seen whether the representatives of the Church
will take up this work and perfect it; or _per contra_ in response
to the demand for a "Commission of Experts," or the specious but
utterly impracticable[89] proposal of concerted action with the
Church of England, will decide to postpone the whole affair to the
Greek Kalends. One thing is certain, to wit, that the death of this
movement will mean inaction for at least a quarter of a century.
The men do not live who will have the courage to embark on a fresh
enterprise of the like purport while the shipwreck of this one is
before their eyes. There are many who, out of a conscientious fear
of disturbing what they like to think of as permanently settled,
would view such a conclusion of the whole matter with profound
gratitude to God. But there are many more to whom such a confession
of the Church's inability to appreciate and unwillingness to meet
the spiritual needs of a civilization wonderfully unlike anything
that has preceded it would be most disheartening. Least of all is
there valid ground for hope in the case of those who fancy that if
they can only annihilate this project, the day will speedily
come when they can revise the Prayer Book in a manner perfectly
conformable to their own conception of the "Ideal Liturgy," and
after a fashion which the most ardent Anglo-Catholic must fain

The American Book of Common Prayer bears the impress to-day of
two controlling minds, the mind of Seabury and the mind of White.
Doubtless it stood written in the councils of the Divine Providence
that so it should be. The two men represented respectively the two
modes of apprehending spiritual truth which have always been allowed
counterplay and interaction in the history of English religion, and
which always will be allowed such counterplay and interaction while
English religion remains the comprehensive thing it is. No scheme
of liturgical revision, no matter how scientifically constructed,
will ever find acceptance with the people of this Church which does
not do even-handed justice to both of the great historic growths
which find their common root in Anglican soil.

When the spirit of Seabury shall have completely exorcised the
spirit of White, or the spirit of White shall have completely
exorcised the spirit of Seabury from the Church and from the Prayer
Book, logic will have triumphed, as sixteen years ago it triumphed
under the dome of St. Peter's--logical consistency will have
triumphed, but catholicity will have fled.



_On_ Christmas-day, Easter-day, _and_ Whitsunday, _and on any
week-day save_ Ash-Wednesday _and_ Good Friday, _this Office may
be used in lieu of so much of_ The Order for the Administration
of the Lord's Supper _as precedeth the Epistle for the Day_.

_This Office may also be used separately on occasions for which
no proper Order hath been provided_.

_The Minister standing up shall say the Lord's Prayer and the
Collect following, the People kneeling, but the Lord's Prayer may
be omitted if it hath been said immediately before_.

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done on earth, As it is in heaven. Give us this
day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive
those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But
deliver us from evil. _Amen_.

_The Collect_.

Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and
from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by
the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee,
and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. _Amen_.

_Then shall the Minister, turning to the People, rehearse the Eight
Sayings of our Lord commonly called_ THE BEATITUDES; _and the
People, still kneeling, shall after every one of them reverently
say_ Amen.


Jesus went up into a mountain; and his disciples came unto him. And
he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor
in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

_Answer_. Amen.

_Minister_. Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.

_Answer_. Amen.

_Minister_. Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.

_Answer_. Amen.

_Minister_. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after
righteousness; for they shall be filled.

_Answer_. Amen.

_Minister_. Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.

_Answer_. Amen.

_Minister_. Blessed are the peace-makers; for they shall be called
the children of God.

_Answer_. Amen.

_Minister_. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness'
sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

_Answer_. Amen.


Hear also what the voice from heaven saith. Blessed are the dead
who die in the Lord.


Even so, saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labors.


Let us pray.

Almighty and Eternal God, to whom is never any prayer made without
hope of mercy; Bow thine ear, we beseech thee, to our supplications,
and in the country of peace and rest cause us to be made partners
with thy holy servants; through Jesus Christ our Lord. _Amen_.[90]

_Then shall be said the Collect for the Day and, unless the Holy
Communion is immediately to follow, such other prayer or prayers,
taken out of this Book, as the Minister shall think proper_.





NOVEMBER 24, 1878.

One generation passeth away; and another generation cometh.--Eccles.

Against the background of this sombre fact of change, whatever
there is in life that is stable stands out with a sharpness that
compels notice. Just because the world is so full of variableness,
our hearts' affections fasten with the tighter grip upon anything
that seems to have the guarantees of permanence. The Book of Common
Prayer appeals to us on this score, precisely as the Bible, in its
larger measure, does: it is the book of many generations, not of
one, and there is "the hiding of its power." We have received the
Prayer Book from the generations that are gone; we purpose handing
it on when "another generation cometh"; we hold it for the use and
blessing of the generation which now is.

Our thoughts about the book, therefore, if we would have the
thinking rightly done, must take hold upon the past, the present,
and the future, a breadth of topic covered well enough perhaps by
this phrase, The Permanent and the Variable Characteristics of the
Prayer Book.

I make no apology for asking you to take up the subject in so grave
a temper. Now, for more than three hundred years, the Common Prayer
has been the manual of worship in use with the greater number of
the people of that race which, meanwhile, in the providence of God,
has been growing up to be the leading power on earth. Everywhere
the English language seems to be going forth conquering and to
conquer, and whithersoever it penetrates it carries with it the
letters and the social traditions of a people whose character has
been largely moulded by the influences of the Prayer Book. Africans,
Indians, Hindoos are to-day, even in their heathenism, feeling the
effects of waves of movement which throb from this centre. Men in
authority, the world over, are living out, with more or less of
consistency and thoroughness, those convictions about our duty
toward God, and our duty toward our neighbor, which were early
inwrought into their consciences through the instrumentality of
these venerable forms. Surely no one can afford to think or speak
otherwise than most seriously and carefully with regard to a book
which has behind it a history so worthy, so rich, so pregnant with
promise for the future.

Look first, then, at the power which the Prayer Book draws from
its affiliations with the past. It is a common remark, so common
as to be commonplace, that our liturgy owes its excellence to the
fact of its not having been the composition or compilation of any
one man. So much is evident enough upon the face of it: for a form
of worship devised off-hand by an individual, or even put together
by a committee sitting around a table, could scarcely be wholly
satisfactory to any save the maker or the makers of it. But it is
more to the purpose to observe that not only is the Prayer Book
not the result of any one man's or any one committee's labors; it
is not the work even of any one generation, or of any one age.

The men who gradually put the Prayer Book into what is substantially
its present shape, in the days of Edward VI. and of Elizabeth, were
no more the makers of the Prayer Book than were the men who, in a
later reign, set forth what we call "the authorized version" of the
Holy Scriptures, the first translators of the Bible. In both cases
the work done was a work of review and revision. A much more severe
review, a vastly more sweeping revision in the case of the Prayer
Book than in the case of the Bible, I grant; but still, mainly
a work of review and revision after all. "Continuity," that
characteristic so precious in the eye of modern science, continuity
marked the whole process.

The first Prayer Book of the Reformed Church of England was a
condensed, simplified, and purified combination of formularies
of worship already in use in the National Church. A certain
amount of new material, some of it home-made, some of it drawn
from foreign sources, was added; but the great bulk of the
new service-book had been contained in one or other of the
older manuals. The Reformers did but clip and prune, with that
exquisite taste and judgment which belong by tradition to English
gardeners, the overgrowth and rank luxuriance of a too long
neglected, "careless-ordered" garden. But whence came the earlier
formularies themselves, from which Cranmer and the rest quarried
the stone for the new building?--to change the metaphor as Paul,
you remember, does so suddenly from husbandry to architecture.[91]
Whence came Missal, and Breviary, and Book of Offices--the best
portions of which were merged in the English Common Prayer?
From the far past; the Missal from those primitive liturgies or
communion services, some of which we trace back with certainty
to the later portion of the ante-Niceneage, and by not unreasonable
conjecture to the edge of apostolic days; the Breviary or daily
prayers from the times when Christians first took up community
life; the Offices from periods of uncertain date all along the
track of previous Church history. But what advantage, asks someone
full of the modern spirit, what advantage has the Common Prayer
in that it can trace a genealogy running up through ages of such
uncertain reputation? Have we not been accustomed to regard those
times as hopelessly corrupt, impenetrably dark, universally
superstitious? Ought we not to be mortified, rather than gratified,
to learn that from the pit of so mouldy a past our book of prayer
was digged? Would not a brand-new liturgy, modernized expressly
to meet the needs of nineteenth century culture, with all the old
English idioms displaced, every rough corner smoothed and every
crooked place made straight--would not that be something far
worthier our respect, better entitled to our allegiance, than
this book full of far-away echoes, and faint bell-notes from a
half-forgotten past?

Yes, if modern man were only modern man and nothing more, such
reasoning would be extremely cogent. But what if modern man be
really, not the mere creature of the century in which he lives,
but the gathered sum and product of all that has preceded him in
history? What if you and I, from the very fact that we are living
now, have in the dim groundwork of our nature something that would
not have been there had we lived one, three, twelve hundred years
ago? What if there be such a thing as cumulative acquirement for
the race of men, so that a new generation starts with an available
capital of associations and ideas of which the generation last
preceding it owned but a part? Take such words as "feudalism," "the
Crusades," "the Renaissance," "the printing press," consider how
much they mean to us, and then remember that to a man of the third
century they would have been empty sounds conveying absolutely no
meaning. What all this goes to show is that human nature is a map
which is continually unrolling. To say that the entirety of it lies
between the two meridians that bound the particular tract in which
our own little life happens to be cast is stupid. The whole great
past belongs to us--river and island, ocean, forest, continent, all
are ours. You and the man in armor, you and the Venetian merchant,
you and the cowled monk have something, be it ever so little,
something in common. That which was in the foreground of their life
is now in the background or in the middle distance of yours. It has
become a part of you.[92]

So, then, if we would have a liturgy that shall speak to our whole
nature, and not to a mere fraction of it, it must be a liturgy full
of voices sounding out of the past. There must be reminders and
suggestions in it of all the great epochs of the Church's story.
Yes, echoes even from those very ages which we call dark (perhaps
as much because we are in the dark about them as on account of any
special blackness attaching to the times themselves), some echoes
even from them may have a rightful place in the worship which is to
call out responsively all that is in the heart of the most modern
of modern men.

As there were heroes before Agamemnon, so were there holy and humble
men of heart before Cranmer and Luther, yes, and before Jerome and
Augustine. If any cry that ever went up from any one of them out of
the depths of that nature which they share with us and we with them,
if any breath of supplication, any moan of penitence, any shout of
victory that issued from their lips has made out to survive the
noise and tumult of intervening times, it has earned by its very
persistency of tone a _prima facie_ title to be put into the Prayer
Book of to-day.[93] And this is why a prayer book may survive the
wreck of many systems of theology. A prayer book holds the utterance
of our needs; a theological system is the embodiment of our thoughts.

Now our thoughts about things divine are painfully fallible and
liable to change with change of times; but a want which is genuinely
and entirely human is a permanent fact; the great needs of the soul
never grow obsolete, and though the language in which the lips shall
clothe the heart's desire may alter, as tastes alter, yet the
substance of the prayer abides, and in some happy instances the
form also abides.

To an eye that looks wisely and lovingly on such sights, there is
the same keen sense of enjoyment in finding here and there in the
Prayer Book suggestions of forgotten customs, reminders of famous
persons and events, that there is in detecting in the masonry of
an old castle or minster tell-tale stones which betray the different
ages, the "sundry times and divers manners" which the fabric
represents. Who, for instance, that has traced the history of
that apostolic ordinance, "the kiss of peace," down through the
liturgical changes and revolutions of eighteen hundred years, can
fail to be interested in finding in a single clause of one of the
exhortations of our communion service that which corresponds to
the literal kiss of primitive times, as well as to the petrified
symbol of the original reality, the silver, ivory, or wooden
"osculatory" of the mediaeval Church?[94] So with "Ash-Wednesday,"
a single syllable opens a whole chapter of Church history. Again,
the Latin headings to the psalms of the Psalter; with what an
impatient gesture can we imagine a spruce reviser brushing these
away as so much trash! They are not trash, they are way marks that
tell of times when devout men loved those catchwords, as we love
the first lines of our favorite hymns. A few of the headings,
such as "_De Profundis_" and "_Miserere_," still possess such
associations for ourselves. There was a time when very many more
of them meant to men now dead and gone as much as "Rock of Ages,"
or "Sun of my Soul," or "Lead, kindly Light," can mean to you or

Then, too, the monuments of specially revered heroes of the faith
that dot the paths of the Common Prayer, how precious they are! We
like to think of Ambrose as speaking to us in the lofty sentences
of the _Te Deum_. It is pleasant to associate Chrysostom with the
prayer that bears his name, and to know that he who swayed the
city's multitude still prized the Master's promise to the "two or
three gathered together" in his name. So also, in our American Book,
Jeremy Taylor, the modern Chrysostom, meets us in the Office for
the Visitation of the Sick, in that solemn prayer addressed to Him
"whose days are without end, and whose mercies cannot be numbered."
All these things help to make the Prayer Book the large-hearted,
wide-minded book we all of us feel it to be, so like a friend
whom we revere because he is kindly in his tone, generous in his
judgments, quick to understand us at every point.

So much for the past of the Prayer Book. We have touched it in no
image-breaking mood, but with reverence. "One generation passeth
away, another generation cometh," and it has been the peculiar
felicity of this book to stand

  A link among the days, to knit
  The generations each to each.

We pass on to consider the present usefulness of the Prayer Book
and the possibility of extending that usefulness in the future.
And now I shall speak wholly as an American to Americans, not
because the destinies of the Prayer Book in the New World are
the more important, though such may in the end turn out to be
the fact, but simply because we are at home here and know our own
wants and wishes, our own liabilities and opportunities, far better
than we can possibly know those of other people. As a Church we
have always tied ourselves too slavishly to English precedent. Our
vine is greatly in danger of continuing merely a potted ivy, an
indoor exotic. The past of the Common Prayer we cannot disconnect
from England, but its present and its future belong in part at
least to us, and it is in this light that we are bound as American
Churchmen to study them. Let us agree, then, that the usefulness
of the book here and now lies largely in the moulding and formative
influence which it is quietly exerting, not only on the religion
of those who use it, but also largely on the religion of the far
greater number who publicly use it not. It has interested me, as
it would interest almost anyone, to learn how many prayer books
our booksellers supply to Christian people who are not Churchmen.
Evidently the book is in use as a private manual with thousands,
who own no open allegiance to the Protestant Episcopal Church. They
keep it on the devotional shelf midway between Thomas a Kempis and
the Pilgrim's Progress, finding it a sort of interpreter of the
one to the other, and possessed of a certain flavor differencing
it from both. This is a happy augury for the future. Much latent
heat is generating which shall yet warm up the dullness of the land.
The seed-grain of the Common Prayer will not lie unproductive in
those forgotten furrows. The fitness of such a system of worship
as this to counteract some of the flagrant evils of our popular
religion can scarcely fail to commend it to the minds of those who
thus unobserved and, "as it were in secret," read and ponder.
Much of our American piety, fervid as it is, shows confessedly
a feverish, intermittent character which needs just such a tonic
as the Prayer Book provides in what Keble happily called its "sober
standard of feeling in matters of practical religion."

Then, too, there is the constantly increasing interest which it
is such a pleasure to observe among Christians of all names in
the order of the ritual year, in Christmas and Easter, Lent and
Good-Friday--who can tell how much of this may not be due to the
leavening influence of the Prayer Book, over and above what is
effected by the public services of the Church? "I wonder," said
a famous revivalist to a friend, a clergyman of our Church, "I
wonder if you Episcopalians know what a good thing you have in
that year of yours. Why don't you use it more?"

And true enough, why do we not? That we might learn to do so was a
wish very near to the heart of that holy and true man who, if
anyone, deserves the title of the saint among our priests, the
late Dr. Muhlenberg, the man who twenty-five years ago headed the
not wholly abortive movement known as the "Memorial."[96] One
fruit of that movement is perhaps to be seen in the earnest desire
now prevalent throughout the Church to see the scope of the Prayer
Book's influence enlarged. In General Conventions and Church
Congresses nowadays no topic excites greater interest than the
question how better to adapt the services of the Church to
the present needs and special conditions of all classes of the
population. To be sure, the apparent impotence of the governing
body to find or furnish any lawful way of relief is a little
discouraging, but it is something to see an almost universal
assent given in terms, to the proposition that relief ought to
be had. What we have to fear is that during the long delay
which puts off the only proper and regular method of giving more
elasticity to the services, there may spring up a generation of
Churchmen from whose minds the idea of obligation to law in matters
of ritual observance will have faded out altogether.

There is a conservatism so conservative that it will stand by and
see a building tumble down rather than lay a sacrilegious hand on
a single stone, will see dam and mill and village all swept away
sooner than lift the flash-boards that keep the superabundant water
from coming safely down. It is among the things possible, that for
lack of readjustment and timely adaptation of the laws regulating
worship, just such a fate may befall our whole liturgical fabric.

The plausible theory of "the rubric of common sense," about which
we have heard so much, a theory good within limitations, is
threatening, by the wholesale application it receives, presently
to annul all other rubrics whatsoever. When, by this process,
uniformity and even similarity shall have been utterly abolished,
when it shall have become impossible for one to know beforehand of
a Sunday whether he is going to mass, or to meeting, or to church,
the inquiry will be in order, What has conservatism of this sort
really conserved?

"The personal liberty of the officiating clergyman," I fear
will be the only answer; certainly not, "The liberty of the
worshipping congregation." The straight and only honest way out
of our embarrassment will, some day or other, be found, I dare not
believe very soon, in a careful, loving, fair-minded revision of
the formularies; a revision undertaken, not for the purpose of
giving victory to one theological party rather than to another, or
of changing in any degree the doctrinal teaching of the Church,
but solely and wholly with a view to enriching, amplifying, and
making more available the liturgical treasures of the book.

"One generation passeth away, another generation cometh." As we
have seen in these words an argument in favor of not breaking with
the past, so let them also speak to us of our plain duty to the
present. True, the great needs are, as I have said, common alike
to all the generations, to those that pass and those that come; but
the lesser needs are variable, and unless we are prepared to take
the ground that because "lesser" they maybe disregarded altogether,
we are bound, with the changed times, to provide for the new wants
new satisfactions. Take, simply by way of illustration, the need we
stand in of an appropriate form of third service for use on Sundays
in city churches, when Morning and Evening Prayer have been already
said according to the prescribed order.

Why have we no such service?

Simply because no such need existed in our American cities when the
Prayer Book, as we have it now, was taking shape, at the close of
the last century. Just as no form for the administration of Adult
Baptism was put into Queen Elizabeth's Prayer Book, simply because
the usage of Infant Baptism was universal in that day, and there
were no unbaptized adults; but such service was inserted at the
Restoration to meet the need that had sprung up under the Puritan
regime; so was it unnecessary in Bishop White's day to provide for
a form of service which has only become practicable and desirable
since modern discovery has enabled us to make the public streets
almost as safe at night as in the daytime, and church-going as easy
by gaslight as by sunlight.

Now it is perfectly possible, of course, under the present order of
things, and with no change in rubric or canon law, for any clergyman
to provide an additional service, to provide it in the form of a
mosaic made up of bits of the liturgy wrenched out of their proper
places, and so irregularly put together that no stranger among the
worshippers can possibly, with the book in hand, thread his way
among its intricacies.

But when we consider how many exquisite gems of devotional speech
there are still left outside the covers of the Prayer Book; when we
consider how delightful it would be to have back again the
_Magnificat _, and the _Nunc Dimittis _, and some of the sweet
versicles of the Evensong of the Church of England; when we consider
the lamentable mistake already made in our existing formularies of
introducing into Morning and Evening Prayer identically the same
opening sentences, the same General Exhortation, the same General
Confession, the same Declaration of Absolution, the same Prayer for
the President, and the same General Thanksgiving--is it not evident
that an additional, or, if you please, an alternative service,
composed of material not elsewhere employed, would be for the
worshippers a very great gain? The repetition which wearies is
only the repetition which we feel need not have been. We never
tire of the Collect for Peace any more than we tire of the sunset.
It is in its place, and we always welcome it. In a perfect liturgy
no form of words, except the Creed, the Doxology, and the Lord's
Prayer, would at any time reappear, but as in arabesque work every
square inch of space differs from every other square, so each clause
and sentence of the manual of worship would have a distinctive
beauty of its own, to be looked for precisely there and nowhere

This is but one illustration of what may be called a possible
enrichment of our Book of Common Prayer. Impoverishment under
the name of revision may very justly be deprecated, but who shall
find any just fault with an enrichment that is really such?

We must remember that the men who gave us what we now have were, in
their day and generation, the innovators, advocates of what the
more timid spirits accounted dangerous change. We cannot, I think,
sufficiently admire the courageous foresight of those Reformers
who, at a time when public worship was mainly associated in men's
minds with what went on among a number of ecclesiastics gathered
together at one end of a church, dared to plant themselves firmly
on the principle of "common" prayer, and to say, Henceforth the
worship of the National Church shall be the worship not of priests
alone, but of priests and people too. What a bold act it was! The
printing-press, remember, although it had given the impulse to the
Reformation, was far from being at that time the omnipresent thing
it is now; books were scarce; popular education, as we understand
it, was unknown; there were no means of supplying service-books to
the poorer classes (no Prayer Book Societies, like this of yours),
nor could the books have been used had they been furnished. And yet
in the face of these seemingly insuperable obstacles, the leaders
of religious thought in the England of that day had the sagacity
to plan a system of worship which should involve participation by
the people in all the acts of divine service, including the
administration of the sacraments.

Here was genuine statesmanship applied to the administration of
religion. Those men discerned wisely the signs of their own times.
They saw what the right principle was, they foresaw what the art
of printing was destined in time to accomplish, and they did a
piece of work which has bravely stood the wear and tear of full
three hundred years.

No Churchman questions the wisdom of their innovations now. Is it
hopeless to expect a like quickness of discernment in the leaders
of to-day? Surely they have eyes to see that a new world has been
born, and that a thousand unexampled demands are pressing us on
every side. If the Prayer Book is not enriched with a view to
meeting those demands, it is not for lack of materials. A Saturday
reviewer has tried to fasten on the Church of England the stigma
of being the Church which for the space of two centuries has not
been able to evolve a fresh prayer.

If the reproach were just it would be stinging indeed; but it is
most cruelly unjust. In the devotional literature of the Anglicanism
of the last fifty years, to go no further back, there may be found
prayers fully equal in compass of thought and depth of feeling to
any of those that are already in public use. Not to single out
too many instances, it may suffice to mention the prayers appended
to the book of Ancient Collects edited a few years since by a
distinguished Oxford scholar. The clergy are acquainted with them,
and know how beautiful they are. Why should not the whole Church
enjoy the happiness of using them?[97] Why is there not the same
propriety in our garnering the devotional harvest of the three
hundred years last past that there was in the Reformers garnering
the harvest of five times three hundred years?

"One generation passeth away, another generation cometh." I have
spoken of the present and the past, what now of the future? We
know that all things come to an end. What destiny awaits the book
to which our evening thoughts have been given? That is a path not
open to our tread. The cloudy curtain screens the threshold of it.
Still we may listen and imagine that we hear sounds. What if such
a voice as this were to come to us from the distance of a hundred
years hence--a voice tinged with sadness, and carrying just the
least suggestion of reproach? "Our fathers," the voice says,
"in the last quarter of the last century, forfeited a golden
opportunity. It was a time of reconstruction in the State, social
life was taking on the form it was destined long to retain, a great
war had come to an end and its results were being registered, all
things were fluent. Moreover, there happened, just then, to be an
almost unparalleled lull in the strife of religious parties; men
were more disposed than usual to agree; the interest in liturgical
research was at its greatest, and scholars knew and cared more
than they have ever done since about the history and the structure
of forms of prayer. Nevertheless, timid councils prevailed; nothing
was done with a view to better adapting the system to the needs of
society, and the hope that the Church might cease to wear the
dimensions of a sect, and might become the chosen home of a great
people, died unrealized. We struggle on, a half-hearted company,
and try to live upon the high traditions, the sweet memories of our

God forbid, my friends, that the dismal prophecy come true! We will
not believe it. But what, you ask, is the pathway to any such
betterment as I have ventured roughly to sketch to-night? I will
not attempt to map it, but I feel very confident which way it
does not run. I am sure it does not run through the region of
disaffection, complaint, threatening, restlessness, petulance,
or secession. Mere fretfulness never carries its points. No, the
true way to better things is always to begin by holding on manfully
to that which we already are convinced is good. The best restorers
of old fabrics are those who work with affectionate loyalty as
nearly as possible on the lines of the first builders, averse to
any change which is made merely for change's sake, not so anxious
to modernize as to restore, and yet always awake to the fact that
what they have been set to do is to make the building once more what
it was first meant to be, a practicable shelter.


" . . . We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and
build the house that was builded these many years ago."--Ezra v.11.

This was the reply of the rebuilders of Jerusalem to certain
critical lookers-on who would fain be informed by what authority
a picturesque ruin was disturbed. It is a serviceable answer still.
There are always those to whom the activity of the Christian Church
is a standing puzzle. Religion, or at any rate revealed religion,
having, as they think, received its death-blow, the unmistakable
signs of life which, from time to time, it manifests take on almost
the character of a personal affront. They resent them. What right
have these Christians to be showing such a lively interest in their
vanquished faith? they ask. What business have they to be holding
councils, and laying plans, and acting as if they had some high and
splendid effort in hand? Are they such fools as to imagine that
they can reconstruct what has so evidently tumbled into ruin?

But the wonderful thing about this great building enterprise known
as the kingdom of God is that, from the day when the corner-stone
was laid to this day, the workmen on the walls have never seemed to
know what it meant to be discouraged. In the face of taunt and
rebuff and disappointment, they have kept on saying to their
critics: "We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and
build the house that was builded these many years ago." This is
just what the Church Council which has been holding its sessions
in Baltimore during the last three weeks has to say for itself.
Its task has been an architectural task. According to its lights,
it has been at work upon the walls of the city of God. Let me give
you, as my habit has been under similar circumstances in the past,
some account of its doings.

The General Convention of 1892 will be memorable in our ecclesiastical
annals for having closed one question of grave moment only to open
a kindred one of still larger reach. The question closed was the
question of liturgical revision; the question opened is the question
of constitutional revision. I should like to speak to you this
morning retrospectively of the one, and prospectively of the other.

It is now about twenty years since the question of modifying, to
some extent, the methods of our public worship began to be mooted.

While it was acknowledged that the need was greater in the mother
country than here, many of the repetitions and superfluities of the
English Church service having been set aside by Bishop White and
his compeers in the American Revision of 1789, it was felt that
further improvements were still possible, and that the time had
fully come for making them. Since the beginning of the so-called
"tractarian movement" in the Church of England a great deal of
valuable liturgical material had been accumulating, and it was
discerned that if ever the fruits of the scholarship of such men
as Palmer and Neale and Maskell and Bright were to be garnered
the harvest-day had arrived. To the question often asked why
it would not have been wiser to wait until the Church of England
had led the way and set the pattern, the answer is that the
hands of the Church of England were tied, as they have been
tied these many years past, and as they may continue to be tied,
for aught we know to the contrary, for many years to come. The
Church of England cannot touch her own Prayer Book, whether to
mend or to mar it, except with the consent of that very mixed
body, the House of Commons--a consent she is naturally and properly
most loth to ask. Immersed in a veritable ocean of accumulated
liturgical material, she is as helpless as Tantalus to moisten
her lips with so much as a single drop. It was seen that this
fact laid upon us American Churchmen a responsibility as urgent
as it was unique, viz., the responsibility of doing what we could
to meet the devotional needs of present-day Christendom, not only
for our own advantage, but with a view to being ultimately of
service to our Anglican brethren across the sea. An experiment
of the greatest interest, which for them was a sheer impossibility,
it lay open to us to try. After various abortive attempts had
come to nought, a beginning was at length made in the General
Convention of 1880, a joint committee of bishops and deputies
being then appointed to consider whether, in view of the fact
that this Church was soon to enter upon the second century of
its organized existence in America, the changed condition of
the national life did not demand certain alterations in the Book
of Common Prayer in the direction of liturgical enrichment and
increased flexibility of use.

Few were of the opinion at the time that anything definite would
come of the deliberations of this committee, and the fact, never
before publicly stated till this moment, that of the deputies
appointed to serve upon it the greater number were men who had
not voted in favor of the measure, makes it all the more interesting
to remember that the report, when brought in at Philadelphia
three years later, was signed by every member of the committee
then living. This Philadelphia report recommended very numerous
changes in the direction both of "flexibility" and "enrichment,"
and by far the greater number of the recommendations met with the
approval of the convention. There is, however, a very wise provision
of our Church constitution, a provision strikingly characteristic
of the Anglo-Saxon mind, which, by way of making allowance for
second thought, requires that liturgical changes, before being
finally adopted, shall run the gauntlet of two successive conventions.
Much was accepted at Philadelphia; it remained to be seen how much
would pass the ordeal of its second reading at Chicago three years

Into the war of words waged over the subject during that interval
period, I have neither the time nor the disposition to carry you.
The three years, while they gave opportunity for reaction, also
allowed space for counter-reaction; so that when, at last, the
question came once more before the Church in council assembled
whether the work done at Philadelphia should be approved or
disallowed, men's minds had sufficiently recovered balance to
permit of their exercising discrimination. Accordingly in 1886
some things were rejected, some adopted, and some remanded for
further revision. But why should I confuse your minds by an attempt
to tell in detail the whole story of the movement? No matter how
clear I might make the narrative it would be difficult to follow
it, for in the progress of the work there have been surprises many,
successes and reverses not a few; enough that, at last, the long
labor is ended and in this Columbian year the ship comes into port.

As to results, their number and their quality, opinions will of
course differ. In connection with this, as with all similar
undertakings, there are many to cry: "Who will show us any good?"
Certainly nothing that could be called a radical change has been
brought to pass; but then, is there any reason to suppose that
radical changes were either sought or desired by those who have
been active in the movement? Certain distinct and indisputable
gains may be counted up. The recovery of the great Gospel hymns
come under this head. There are some of us who think that only to
have succeeded in replacing the _Magnificat_ and the _Nunc Dimittis_
in the Evening Prayer is of itself a sufficient reward for years
of effort, but this is only a small part of our harvest. The new
opening sentences for Morning and Evening Prayer, which have so
"adorned and beautified" our observance of great festivals, the
remodelling of the Ash-Wednesday service, the recovered Feast of
the Transfiguration, the various provisions for adapting the
Church's worship to the exigencies of times and seasons, the
increased freedom in the use of the Psalter, all these go to make
up an aggregate of betterment the measure of which will be more
fully understood as time goes on. "_Parturiunt montes_" is an easy
verdict to pronounce; it remains to be proved whether in this case
it is a just one to render. If there are some (as doubtless some
there are) who hold that the sample book presented at Philadelphia
in 1883, faulty as it confessedly was, is still, all things
considered, a better book for American needs than the standard
finally adopted at Baltimore, week before last, if there are some
who deeply regret the failure to include among our special offices
one for the burial of little children, and among our prayers
intercessions for the country, for the families of the land, for
schools of good learning, for employers and those whom they employ,
together with many other forms of supplication gathered from the
wide field of English liturgiology--if, I say, there arc some who
are of this mind they must comfort themselves with the reflection
that, after all, they are a minority, that the greater number of
those upon whom rested the responsibility of decision did not wish
for these additions, and that the things which finally found
acceptance were the things unanimously desired. For, when we think
of it, this is perhaps the very best feature of the whole thing,
looked at in its length and breadth, that there is no defeated
party, no body of people who feel that they have a right to fret
and sulk because unpalatable changes have been forced upon them by
narrow majorities. It is a remarkable fact, that of the many scores
of alterations effected, it can be truly said that, with rare, very
rare exceptions, they found, when it came to the decisive vote,
what was practically a unanimous consent. They were things that
everybody wanted.

As to the annoyance and vexation experienced by worshippers
during the years the revision has been in progress, perhaps the
very best thing that can be done, now that the end is so near at
hand, will be to forget all about it. In a few months, at the
furthest, the Prayer Book, in its complete form, will be available
for purchase and use, and the hybrid copies which have been so
long in circulation, to the scandal of people of fastidious taste,
will quickly vanish away. Meanwhile, it is interesting to know
that all through this stretch of years while the Prayer Book has
been "in solution," as some have been fond of phrasing it, the
Episcopal Church has exhibited a rate of growth quite unparalleled
in its history.

Of course nobody can say with certainty what has caused the
increase. But it is at least conceivable that among the accelerating
forces has been this very work of liturgical revision. People at
large have been made aware that this Church was honestly endeavoring
to adapt its system of worship to the needs of our time and country;
and the mere fact of their seeing this to be the case has served to
allay prejudice and to foster a spirit of inquiry. Finding us
disposed to relax something of our rigidity, they, on their part,
have been first attracted, then conciliated, and finally completely

I cannot leave this subject without paying a personal tribute
to a prelate but for whose aid in the House of which he is a
distinguished ornament, liturgical revision would, humanly speaking,
have long ago come to nought. To the fearlessness, the patience, the
kindly temper, and the resolute purpose of William Croswell Doane,
Bishop of Albany, this Church for these results stands deeply and
lastingly indebted. When others' courage failed them, he stood firm;
when friends and colleagues were counselling retreat, and under
their breath were whispering "Fiasco!" and "Collapse!" his spirit
never faltered. He has been true to a great purpose, at the cost of
obloquy sometimes, and to the detriment even of old friendships.
Separated from him by a dozen shades of theological opinion and by
as many degrees of ecclesiastical bias, I render him here and now
that homage of grateful appreciation which every Churchman owes him.

So much for the ship that has dropped anchor. I have left my self
but a few moments in which to say God-speed to the other craft which
is even now sliding down the ways, ready for the great deep. Put
perhaps it is just as well. History is always a safer line to enter
upon than prophecy; and were I to say all that is in my mind and
heart as to the possibilities of this new venture of faith on the
Church's part, constitutional revision, I might be betrayed into
expressions of hopefulness which would strike most of you as

Suffice it to say, that never since the Reformation of Religion
in the sixteenth century has a fairer prospect been opened to
the Church of our affections than is opened to her to-day. No
interpretation of the divine purpose with respect to this broad
land we name America has one-half so much of likelihood as that
which makes our country the predestined building plot for the
Church of the Reconciliation.

All signs point that way. To us, if we have but the eyes to see it,
there falls, not through any merit of our own, but by the accident,
if it be right to use that word, by the accident of historical
association, the opportunity of leadership.

It is possible for us, at this crisis of our destiny, so to mould
our organic law that we shall be brought into sympathetic contact
with hundreds of thousands of our fellow-countrymen who worship the
same God, hold the same faith, love the same Christ. On the other
hand, it is possible for us so to fence ourselves off from this
huge family of our fellow-believers as to secure for our lasting
heritage only the cold privileges of a proud and selfish isolation.
There could be no real catholicity in such a choice as that.

We have the opportunity of growing into a great and comprehensive
Church. We have the opportunity of dwindling into a self-conscious,
self-conceited, and unsympathetic sect. Which shall it be? With
those to whom, under God, the remoulding of our organic law has
been intrusted it largely rests to say.


                        1552   1559   1604   1662   1789   1892
Scripture Sentences       11                           8     31
Collects                                        3      1      3
Epistles                                        2      1      3
Gospels                                         1      1      3
Offices                   13                    8      1      1
Prayers                   15       2     7     18     13      9
Proper Psalms (days)                            2            10
Selections of Psalms                                  10     10
Canticles                                              8      2
Versicles                  4                    3            11
Litany Suffrages                   1                          1
Catechetical Questions                  12
Exhortations               3                    2


Notes for a Short History of the Book of Common Prayer

[1] First printed in the _American Church Review_, April, 1881.

[2] Much confusion of thought and speech in connection with our
ecclesiastical legislation grows out of not keeping in mind the
fact that here in America the organic genetic law of the Church,
as well as of the State, is in writing, and compacted into definite
propositions. We draw, that is to say, a far sharper distinction
than it is possible to do in England between what is constitutional
and what is simply statutory. There is no function of our General
Convention that answers to the "omnipotence of Parliament." This
creative faculty was vacated once for all at the adoption of the

[3] _Conferences_, p. 461.

[4] _Principles of Divine Service_, vol. i. p. 390.

[5] _Church Quarterly Review_, London, October, 1876.

[6] The votes of the House of Bishops are not reported numerically.
In the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies the vote stood as
follows: "Of the Clergy there were 43 Dioceses represented--Ayes,
33; nays, 9; divided, 1. Of the Laity there were 35 Dioceses
represented--Ayes, 20; nays, 11; divided, 4."--_Journal of
Convention of_ 1880, p. 152.

[7] _Church Eclectic_ for November, 1880.

[8] Remembering the deluge of "centennial" rhetoric let loose
upon the country five years ago, another critic may well feel
justified in finding in the language of the resolution what he
considers "an unnecessary _raison d'etre_." But it is just possible
that centennial changes rest on a basis of genuine cause and effect
quite independent of the decimal system. A century covers the range
of three generations, and the generation is a natural, not an
arbitrary division of time. What the grandfather practises the son
criticises and the grandson amends. This at least ought to commend
itself to the consideration of the lovers of mystical numbers and
"periodic laws."

[9] The real argument against the "driblet method" (by which is
meant the concession of improvement only as it is actually conquered
inch by inch) lies in what has been already said about the
undesirability of frequent changes in widely used formularies of

It may be true, as some allege, that a revision of the Prayer Book
would shake the Church, but it is more likely that half a dozen
patchings at triennial intervals would shatter it. After twenty
years of this sort of piecemeal revision, a _variorum_ edition of
the Prayer Book would be a requisite of every well furnished pew.

The late Convention has been twitted with inconsistency on the
score of having negatived outright the proposal for a Commission
to overhaul the Constitution of the Church while consenting to
send the Prayer Book to a committee for review. Discernment would
be a better word than inconsistency, for although on grounds of
pure theory the Constitution and the Prayer Book seem to stand in
corresponding attitudes as respects methods of amendment, in
practice the difference between the two is very wide. Triennial
changes in the letter of the Constitution (and these have often
been made) involve no inconvenience to anybody, for the simple
reason that that document must of necessity be reprinted with every
fresh issue of the Journal. Old copies do not continue in use,
except as books of reference, but old Prayer Books do hold their
place in parish churches, and the spectacle of congregations trying
to worship in unison with books some of which contained the reading
of 1880, others that of 1883, and still others that of 1886 would
scarcely edify. Theoretically, let it be freely granted, the
"driblet method" of amendment is the proper one for both Prayer
Book and Constitution, but the fact that the Convention had eyes
to see that this was a case to which the maxims of pure mathematics
did not apply should be set down to its credit, rather than its

[10] Reprinted together with a supplementary Letter in the Journal
of the Convention of 1868.

[11] Dr. Coit's Letter of 1868, also reprinted in Journal of that

[12] See _Book of Common Prayer according to the use of King's
Chapel, Boston_. Among the rhetorical crudities of this emasculated
Prayer Book (from the title-page of which, by the way, the definite
article has been with praiseworthy truthfulness omitted) few things
are worse than the following from the form for the Burial of
Children, a piece of writing which in point of style would seem
to savor more of the Lodge than of the Church: "My brethren, what
is our life? It is as the early dew of morning that glittereth for
a short time, and then is exhaled to heaven. Where is the beauty
of childhood? Where is [sic] the light of those eyes and the bloom
of that countenance?" . . . "Who is young and who is old? Whither
are we going and what shall we become?" And yet the author of
this mawkish verbiage probably fancied that he was improving upon
the stately English of the Common Prayer. It is a warning to all
would-be enrichers.

[13] A list of the more noticeable Anglican works on Liturgies
published during the period named, arranged in the order of their
appearance, will serve to illustrate the accuracy of the statement
made above, and may also be of value to the general reader for
purposes of reference.

1832. Origines Liturgicae, William Palmer. 1833-41. Tracts for
the Times. 1840. Conferences on the Book of Common Prayer, Edward
Cardwell. 1843. The Choral Service of the Churches of England and
Ireland, John Jebb. 1844. The Ancient Liturgy of the Church of
England, William Maskell. 1845. Pickering's Reprints of the Prayer
Books of 1549, 1552, 1559, 1603, and 1662. 1846. Monumenta
Ritualia, William Maskell. 1847. Reliquiae Liturgicae, Peter
Hall. 1848. Fragmenta Liturgica, Peter Hall. 1849. Book of Common
Prayer with Notes legal and historical, A. J. Stephens. Manuscript
Book of Common Prayer for Ireland, A. J. Stephens. Tetralogia
Liturgica, John Mason Neale. 1853. Two Liturgies of Edward VI.,
Edward Cardwell. 1855. Principles of Divine Service, Philip
Freeman. History of the Book of Common Prayer, F. Proctor. 1858.
History of the Book of Common Prayer, T. Lathbury. 1859.
Directorium Anglicanum, J. Purchas. 1861. Ancient Collects,
William Bright. 1865. Liber Precum Publicarum, Bright and Medd.
1865. The Priest's Prayer Book. 1865. History of the Book of Common
Prayer, R. P. Blakeney. 1866. The Prayer Book Interleaved, Campion
and Beaumont. 1866. The Annotated Book of Common Prayer, J. H.
Blunt. 1870. The Liturgy of the Church of Sarum, Translated,
Charles Walker. 1870. The First Prayer Book of Edward VI. with
the Ordinal, Walton and Medd. 1872. Psalms and Litanies, Rowland
Williams. 1872. Notitia Eucharistica, W. E. Scudamore. 1875-80.
Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, Smith and Cheetham. 1876.
First Prayer Book of Edward VI., compared with the successive
Revisions, James Parker. 1877. Introduction to the History of the
successive Revisions of the Book of Common Prayer, James Parker.
1878. Liturgies--Eastern and Western, C. E. Hammond. 1880. The
Convocation Prayer Book.

[14] Tract No. 3. _Thoughts respectfully addressed to the Clergy on
alterations in the Liturgy_.

[15] One of the most curious illustrations of the spread of
Anglican ideas about worship now in progress is to be found in
the upspringing in the very bosom of Scottish Presbyterianism of
a CHURCH SERVICE SOCIETY. Two of the publications of this Society
have lately fallen in the present writer's way. They bear the
imprint of Wm. Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh, and are entitled
respectively, _A Book of Common Order_, and _Home Prayer_. With
questionable good taste the compilers have given to the former
work a Greek and to the latter a Latin sub-title (_Evxolioyiov_
and _Suspiria Domestica_). Both books have many admirable points,
although, in view of the facts of history, there is a ludicrous
side to this attempt to commend English viands to Northern palates
under a thin garniture of Scottish herbs which probably has not
wholly escaped the notice of the compilers themselves.

[16] See _The Guardian_ (London), February 9, 1881.

[17] Unless "finally to beat down Satan under our feet," be
reckoned an exception.

[18] _Lectures on Justification_, p 380.

[19] The rationale of this curious lapse is simple. The American
revisers, instead of transferring the Commination Office _in toto_
to the new book, wisely decided to engraft certain features of
it upon the Morning Prayer for Ash-Wednesday. In the process, the
fifty-first Psalm, which has a recognized place in the Commination,
dropped out, instead of being transferred, as it should have been,
to the proper psalms.

[20] See the Convocation Prayer Book.

[21] _Prayer Book Interleaved_, p. 65.

[22] A curious illustration of the sensitiveness of the Protestant
Episcopal mind to anything that can be supposed even remotely to
endanger our doctrinal settlement was afforded at the late General
Convention, when the House of Deputies was thrown into something
very like a panic by a most harmless suggestion with reference to
the opening sentences of the Litany. A venerable and thoroughly
conservative deputy from South Carolina had ventured to say that
it would be doctrinally an improvement if the tenet of the double
procession of the Holy Ghost were to be removed from the third of
the invocations, and a devotional improvement if the language of
the fourth were to be phrased in words more literally Scriptural
and less markedly theological than those at present in use. Eager
defenders of the faith instantly leaped to their feet in various
parts of the House, persuaded that a deadly thrust had been aimed
at the doctrine of the Trinity. Never was there a more gratuitous
misconception. The real intrenchment of the doctrine of the
Trinity, so far as the Litany is concerned, lies in the four
opening words of the second and the five opening words of the
third of the invocations, and these it had not been proposed to
touch. In confirmation of this view of the matter, it is pertinent
to instance the _Book of Family Prayers_ lately put forth by a
Committee of the Upper House of the Convocation of Canterbury.
This manual provides no fewer than six different Litanies, all of
them opening with addresses to the three Persons of the adorable
Trinity, and yet in no one instance is the principle advocated by
the deputy from South Carolina unrecognized. Every one of the six
Litanies begins with language similar to that which he recommended.
[See also in witness of the mediaeval use, which partially bears
out Mr. McCrady's thought, the ancient Litany reprinted by Maskell
from _The Prymer in English_. Mon. Hit. ii. p. 95.] If the Upper
House of the Convocation of Canterbury, fondly supposed by us
Anglicans to be the very citadel of sound doctrine, be thus tainted
with heresy, upon what can we depend?

Polemical considerations aside, probably even the most orthodox
would allow that the invocations of the Litany might gain in
devotional power, while losing nothing in august majesty, were
the third to run--_O God the Holy Ghost, Sanctifier of the
faithful, have mercy upon us miserable sinners_. And the fourth
as in Bishop Heber's glorious hymn, _Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God
Almighty, have mercy upon us miserable sinners_. But all this is
doctrinal and plainly _ultra vires_.

[23] A very natural explanation, by the way, of the fact, often
noticed, that there is no petition in the Litany for an increase
of the ministry.

[24] Here, _i_. _e._, in connection with Saints' Day services,
would be an admirable opportunity for the introduction into
liturgical use of the Beatitudes. What could possibly be more
appropriate? And yet these much loved words of Christ have seldom
been given the place in worship they deserve.

They do find recognition as an antiphon in the _Liturgy of St.
Chrysostom_. To reassert a usage associated in the history of
liturgies with the name of this Father of the Church and with his
name only, would be to pay him better honor than we now show by
three times inserting in our Prayer Book the collect conjecturally
his--a thing the Golden-mouthed himself, when in the flesh, would
not have dreamed of doing. "Once," he would have said, "is enough."

[25] The Priest's Prayer Book has 688 (!!) mostly juiceless.

[26] In connection with this clause there sprang up an animated
and interesting debate in the House of Deputies as to the wisdom
of thus seeming to cut off every opportunity for extemporary prayer
in our public services. Up to this time, it was alleged, a liberty
had existed of using _after_ sermon, if the preacher were disposed to
do so, the "free prayer" which _before_ sermon it was confessedly
not permitted him to have--why thus cut off peremptorily an
ancient privilege? why thus sharply annul a traditional if not a
chartered right?

At first sight this distinction between before and after sermon
looks both arbitrary and artificial, but when examined there is
found to be a reason in it. The sermon, especially in the case of
emotional preachers, is a sort of bridge of transition from what
we may call the liturgical to the spontaneous mood of mind, and if
the speaker has carried his listeners with him they are across
the bridge at the same moment with himself. The thing that would
have been incongruous before, becomes natural after the minister
has been for some time speaking less in his priestly than in his
personal character.

The notion that the points at issue between the advocates of
liturgical and the advocates of extemporaneous worship can be
settled by a promiscuous jumbling together of the two modes, is
a fond conceit, as the Reformed Episcopalians will doubtless confess
when they shall have had time enough to make full trial of the
following rubrics in their Prayer-book:

_Then shall the Minister say the Collects and Prayers following in
whole or in part, or others at his discretion_.

_Here may be used any of the occasional Prayers, or extemporaneous

This is bad philosophy. It need not be said that such directions
are undevotional--for doubtless they were piously meant; but it
must be said that they are inartistic (if the word may be allowed),
at variance with the fitness of things and counter to the instinct
of purity. Formality and informality are two things that cannot
be mingled to advantage. There is place and time for each. The
secret of the power of liturgical worship is wrapped up with the
principle of order. A certain majesty lies in the movement which
is without break. On the other hand the charm of extemporaneous
devotion, and it is sometimes a very real charm, is traceable to our
natural interest in whatever is irregular, fresh, and spontaneous.

To suppose that we can secure at any given time the good effects of
both methods by some trick of combination is an error--as well
attempt to arrange on the same plot of ground a French and an
English garden. If indeed Christian people could bring themselves
to acknowledge frankly the legitimacy of both methods and provide
amicably for their separate use, a great step forward in the
direction of Church unity would have been achieved; but for a
catholicity so catholic as this, public opinion is not yet ripe,
and perhaps may not be ripe for centuries to come. Those who
believe in the excellency of liturgies, while not believing in
them as _jure divino_, would be well content in such a case to
wait the working of the principle of the survival of the fittest.

[27] The able and fair-minded jurist who first hit upon this
ingenious scheme for patching the Ratification has lately, with
characteristic frankness, said substantially this under his own

"The proper place for the amendment," he writes, "is at the end
of the first rubric preceding the sentences of Scripture for both
Morning and Evening Prayer, after the word Scripture, as everyone
can see by looking." He adds: "This, however, is only a question
of form, and ought not to interfere with the adoption of the
amendment at the next Convention. It is to be hoped that the
resolution for enrichment, so called, will present a variety of
additions out of which an acceptable selection can be made; and
when they are finally carried that the Book of Common Prayer will
be not only the standard book, but a sealed book, so to speak, for
as many generations as have passed since the present book was
adopted."--Letter of the Hon. J. B. Howe of Indiana in _The
Churchman_ for January 29, 1881.

[28] See page 578 of _Evangelical Catholic Papers_. A collection
of Essays, Letters, and Tractates from "Writings of Rev. Wm.
Augustus Muhlenberg, D. D." during the last forty years.

The failure of this devout and venerated man to secure sundry
much desired liturgical improvements (although it yet remains to
be seen whether the failure has been total) was perhaps due to a
certain vagueness inherent in his plans of reform. A clear vision
of the very thing desired seems to have been lacking, or at least
the gift of imparting it to others. But even as no man has deserved
better of the American Episcopal Church than he, so it is no more
than right that his deeply cherished wishes should be had in
careful remembrance.

[29] Now a "black-letter day" in the English Calendar.

[30] The Convocation Prayer Book, _in loc_.

[31] Originally only an explanatory rubric. See Procter, p. 397.

[32] Let us hope that before long there may be devised some better
way of providing relief for our Widows and Orphans than that of
the indirect taxation of the singers of hymns.

[33] The Greek Office Books, it is said, fill eighteen quartos.

[34] In that naive and racy bit of English (omitted in our
American book) entitled _Concerning the Service of the Church_,
one of the very choicest morsels is the following: "Moreover,
the number and hardness of the Rules called the Pie, and the
manifold changings of the Service, was the cause, that to turn
the Book only was so hard and intricate a matter, that many times
there was more business to find out what should be read than to
read it when it was found out."

[35] It may be wise to buttress the position taken with a
quotation out of Dr. Coit.

"We really, however, do not see any necessity for either of
these Services in American Books, as with us the Ordinal always,
now, makes a part of the Prayer Book in all editions. It would
be a saving to expunge them and no change would be necessary,
except the introduction of such a litanical petition and suffrage
with the Services for Deacons and Priests, as already exists in
the Service for Bishops. The Church of England retains the Litany
in her Ordinal, for that, until latterly, was printed in a separate
book, and was not to be had unless ordered expressly. And yet with
even such a practice she has but one Communion Service. We study
cheapness and expedition in our day. They can both be consulted
here, _salvafide et salva ecclesia_."--Report of 1844.

[36] First printed in _The Church Review_, 1886.

[37] The Rev. Dr. Orlando Hutton.

[38] _Priest's Prayer Book_, Fifth edition, pp. 238, 243, 281.

[39] The _Prayer for Imprisoned Debtors_ is believed to be the
only formulary actually dropped.

[40] _The Church Quarterly Review_ for April, 1884, and July,
1884. _The Church Times_ for August 29, 1884; also July 31, August
7, 14, 21, 28, September 4, 1885. _The Guardian_ for July 20, 1885.

[41] Recall the "Additional Hymns" of 1868.

[42] This proposal of arbitration has occasioned so much innocent
mirth that, in justice to the maker of it, attention should be
called to the ambiguity of the language in which it is couched.
The wording of the passage is vague. It is just possible that by
"the question" which he would be content to submit to the judgment
of the four specified men of letters, he means, not, as he has been
understood to mean, the whole subject-matter of _The Book Annexed_,
but only the abstract question whether verbal variations from the
English original of the Common Prayer be or be not, on grounds of
purity of style, desirable. Even if this be all that he means there
is perhaps still room for a smile, but, at all events, he ought to
have the benefit of the doubt.

[43] _Discussions and Arguments_, p. 341.

[44] "The list might be brought down as late as the authorities
pleased to bring it, even to include, if they chose, such names
as John Keble, James De Koven, and Ferdinand Ewer."--_The Church
Times_ for August 14, 1885.

[45] This form of absolution suggested as an alternate in _The
Book Annexed_ is taken from the source mentioned.

[46] The paper read by the Dean of Worcester dealt exclusively
with the legal aspects of the question as it concerns the Church
of England.

[47] The Rev. Edgar Morris Dumbleton (Rector of St. James's,

[48] The Rev. George Venables (Hon. Canon of Norwich and Vicar
of Great Yarmouth).

[49] The Rev. Arthur James Robinson (Rector of Whitechapel).

[50] See letter of "J. L. W." in _The Southern Churchman_ for
August 6, 1885.

[51] See letter of "Ritualist" in _The Standard of the Cross_
for July 2, 1885.

[52] See the "Report of the Committee of the Council of the
Diocese of Wisconsin," _passim_.

[53] The evident intention of the Joint Committee in the
introduction of this Canticle was to make it possible to shorten
the Morning Prayer on week-days, without spoiling the structure
of the office, as is now often done, by leaving out one of the
Lessons. It is certainly open to question whether a better
alternate might not have been provided, but it is surprising to
find so well furnished a scholar as the Wisconsin critic speaking
of the _Benedictus es Domine_ as a liturgical novelty, "derived
neither from the Anglican or the more ancient service-hooks." As
a matter of fact the _Benedictus es Domine_ was sung daily in the
Ambrosian Rite at Matins, and is found also in the Mozarabic

[54] See Wisconsin Report, p. 5.

[55] See the precautions recommended in _The Living Church Annual_
for 1886, p. 132, art. "Tabernacle."

[56] In this respect _The Book Annexed_ may be compared to _The
Convocation Prayer Book_ published by Murray in 1880, for the
purpose of showing what the English Book would be like if "amended
in conformity with the recommendations of the Convocations of
Canterbury and York, contained in reports presented to her Majesty
the Queen in the year 1879."

[57] The Report was adopted.

[58] In addition to the Maryland Report we have now a still more
admirable one from Central New York.

[59] Strangely enough the Elizabethan period, so rich in genius
of every other type, seems to have been almost wholly barren of
liturgical power. Men had not ceased to write prayers, as a stout
volume in the Parker Society's Library abundantly evidences; but
they had ceased to write them with the terseness and melody that
give to the style of the great Churchmen of the earlier reigns so
singular a charm.

[60] The liturgical manuscripts of Sanderson and Wren, made
public only recently by the late Bishop of Chester, ought to be
included under this head.

[61] Many of these "Treasuries," "Golden Gates," and the like,
have here and there something good, but for the most part they
are disfigured by sins against that "sober standard of feeling,"
than which, as a high authority assures us, nothing except "a sound
rule of faith" is more important "in matters of practical
religion." Of all of them, Scudamore's unpretentious little
"Manual" is, perhaps, the best.

[62] For a _conspectus_ of the various title-pages, see Keeling's
_Litugiae Britannicae_, London, 1842.

[63] The question of a change in the name of the Church is a
constitutional, and in no sense a liturgical question. Let it be
considered at the proper time, and in a proper way, but why thrust
it precipitately into a discussion to which it is thoroughly

[64] By the Maryland Committee.

[65] This paragraph was written before the author had been
privileged to read Prof. Gold's interesting paper in _The
Seminarian_. It is only proper to say that this accomplished
writer and very competent critic does object emphatically to
the theory that the opening Sentences are designed to give the
key-note of the Service. But here he differs with Blunt, as
elsewhere in the same paper he dissents from Freeman and from
Littledale, admirably illustrating by his proper assertion of
an independent judgment, the difficulty of applying the Vicentian
rule in liturgical criticism. Such variations of opinion do,
indeed, make against "science," but they favor good sense.

[66] Chambers's Translation.

[67] This is not to be understood as an acknowledgment that
the doctrinal and philological objections to the formulary as
it originally stood were sound and sufficient. On the lips of
a Church which declares "repentance" to be an act whereby we
"forsake sin," a prayer for time does not seem wholly inappropriate,
while as for this use of the word "space" of which complaint was
made, it should be noticed that King James's Bible gives us
nineteen precedents for it; and the Prayer Book itself one.

[68] In _The Book Annexed_, as originally presented, there
stood in this place the beautiful and appropriate psalm, _Levavi
oculos_. But the experts declared that this would never do, since
from time immemorial _Levavi oculos_ had been a Vesper Psalm, and
it would be little less than sacrilege to insert it in a morning
service, however congruous to such a use the wording of it might,
to an unscientific mind, appear. Accordingly the excision was made;
but upon inquiry it turned out that the monks had possessed a larger
measure of good sense, as well as a better exegesis, than the
Convention had attributed to them, for _Levavi oculos_, it appears,
besides being a Vesper psalm, stood assigned, in the Sarum Breviary,
to Prime as well; the fact being that the psalm is alike adapted to
morning and to evening use, and singularly appropriate both to the
"going out" and the "coming in" of the daily life of man.

[69] See p. 6.

[70] "O Lord, bow thine ear," has been suggested as a substitute.
It is in the words of Holy Scripture, it is the precise metrical
equivalent of "O Lord, save the queen," and it is directly
antiphonal to the versicle which follows.

There being no Established Church in the United States, it is
doubtful whether any prayers for "rulers" are desirable, over and
above those we already have. And if this point be conceded, the
other considerations mentioned may be allowed to have weight in
favor of "O Lord, bow thine ear."

[71] _The Seminarian_, 1886, pp. 29, 30.

[72] It may be well to throw, into a foot-note a single illustration
of what might otherwise be thought an extravagant statement. The
Rev. W. C. Bishop, writing in _The Church Eclectic_ for February,
1884, says:

"The service of the Beatitudes proposed by the Committee is just
one of 'fancy-liturgy making,' which ought to be summarily rejected.
We have more than enough of this sort of thing already; the
commandments, comfortable words, _et hoc genus omne_, are anything
but 'unique glories' of our Liturgy. Anything of which we have
exclusive possession is nearly certain to be a 'unique _blunder_,'
instead of anything better, because the chances are a thousand to
one that anything really beautiful or edifying would have been
discovered by, and have commended itself to, some other Christians
in the last two thousand years." If such is to be the nomenclature
of our new "science," Devotion may well stand aghast in the face
of Liturgies.

[73] See the Commination Office in the Prayer Book of the Church
of England.

[74] Daniel's _Codex Liturgicus_, vol. iv. p. 343. Quoted in
_Dictionary of Christian Antiquities_. The translation of makapismoi
has been doubted; but Dr. Neale and Prof. Cheetham agree that the
reference is to the BEATITUDES of the Gospel.

[75] _Church Eclectic_ for April, 1884.

[76] The following will serve as an illustration:

_The Anthem_;

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall get mercy; blessed are the
clean in the heart, for they shall see God.

_The Versicle_:

Lord hear my prayer.

_The Answer_:

And let my cry come to thee.

_Let us pray_.

Lord Jesu Christ, whose property is to be merciful, which art alway
pure and clean without spot of sin; Grant us the grace to follow
thee in mercifulness toward our neighbors, and always to bear a
pure heart and a clean conscience toward thee, that we may after
this life see thee in thy everlasting glory, which livest and
reignest God, world without end. _Amen_.

[77] It is interesting and suggestive to observe with how much
less frequency our attention is called to this paragraph of the
Preface than to the later one which asserts historical continuity
with the Church of England.

[78] _Essays on Liturgiology_, p. 226.

[79] The response proposed by the Commissioners ran, "Lord have
mercy upon us, and make us partakers of this blessing," a prayer
unobjectionable for substance, but painfully pedestrian in style.

[80] Notably one in which the responses are all taken from Psalm li.

[81] See Note at the end of this Paper.

[82] _E_. _g_.: "That it may please thee to send forth laborers
into thy harvest, and to have mercy upon all men."

[83] See Report, pp. 6-9.

[84] "Strike it out," said the literalist of a certain committee
on hymnody, many years ago, as he and his colleagues were sitting
in judgment on Watts's noble hymn, "There is a land of pure delight."
"Either strike out the whole hymn or alter that word, 'living.'

  "'Bright fields, beyond the swelling flood,
   Stand dressed in living green.'

What sense is there in '_living_' green? It is the grass that
lives, not the green." Happily the suggestion failed to find a
seconder. But revisers, whose work is to be passed upon by ballot,
may well be shy of idiomatic English. Take such a phrase as,
"Now for the comfortless trouble's sake of the needy"; Lindley
Murray, were he consulted, would have no mercy on it: and yet a
more beautiful and touching combination of words is not to be
found anywhere in the Psalter. It is the utter lack of this
idiomatic characteristic that makes "Lambeth prayers" proverbially
so insipid.

[85] See Report, p. 12.

[86] Quoted in _The Church Eclectic_ for August, 1886.

[87] Prof. Gold in _The Seminarian_, p. 34.

[88] The Rev. Dr. Robert in _The Churchman_ for July 17, 1886,

[89] Specious, because our continuity with the Church life of
England is inestimably precious; impracticable, because there is
no representative body of the English Church authorized to treat
with us.

[90] This Prayer has been gathered from the _Dirige_ in _The
Primer set forth by the King's Majesty and his Clergy_, 1545; the
same source (it is interesting to note) to which we trace the
English form of the _Collect for Purity_ at the beginning of the

[91] 1 Cor. iii. 9.

[92] Born into life!--man grows
  Forth from his parents' stem,
  And blends their bloods, as those
  Of theirs are blent in them;
  So each new man strikes root into a far foretime.
  Born into life!--we bring

  A bias with us here,
  And, when here, each new thing
  Affects us we come near;
  To tunes we did not call our being must keep chime.
                          _Empedocles on Etna_.

[93] "Parliaments, prelates, convocations, synods may order forms
of prayer. They may get speeches to be spoken upward by people on
their knees. They may obtain a juxtaposition in space of curiously
tessellated pieces of Bible and Prayer Book. But when I speak of
the rareness and preciousness of prayers, I mean such prayers as
contain three conditions--permanence, capability jot being really
prayed, and universality. Such prayers primates and senates can no
more command than they can order a new Cologne Cathedral or another
epic poem."--_The Bishop of Berry's Hampton Lectures_, lect iv.

[94] The following _catena_ is curious:

"Salute one another with an holy kiss."--Rom. xvi. 10.

"Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity."--1 Pet. v. 14.

"_And let the bishop salute the church, and say_: Let the peace of
God be with you all.

"_And let the people answer_, And with thy spirit.

"_And let the deacon say to all_, Salute one another with a holy kiss.

"_And let the clergy kiss the bishop; and of the laity, the men
the men, and the women the women, and let the children stand by
the Bema. _"--_The Divine Liturgy of St. Clement_ (Bretts's
Translation, corrected by Neale).

"_At Solemn High Mass, the deacon kisses the altar at the same
time with the celebrating priest, by whom he is saluted with the
kiss of peace, accompanied by these words_, PAX TECUM."--Rubric of
the Roman Missal.

"PAX OR PAXBREDE. A small plate of gold, or silver, or copper-gilt,
enamelled, or piece of carved ivory or wood overlaid with metal,
carried round, having been kissed by the priest, after the Agnus
Dei in the Mass, to communicate the kiss of peace."--_Pugin's

_St. George's Chapel, Windsor_. "Item, a fine PAX, silver and gilt
enamelled, with an image of the crucifixion, Mary and John, and
having on the top three crosses, with two shields hanging on either
side. Item, a ferial PAX, of plate of silver gilt, with the image
of the Blessed Virgin."--_Dugdale's Monasticon_ quoted in above

"Ye who do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, _and are
in love and charity with your neighbors_, and intend to lead a new
life . . . Draw near with faith, and take this holy sacrament to your
comfort."--Shorter Exhortation in the Communion Office of the Prayer

[95] A friend who heard the sermon preached has kindly sent me the
following apt illustrations. They do not, indeed, come from history
technically so-called, but they report the mind of one to whose eye
the whole life of the Middle Ages was as an open book.

"There was now a pause, of which the abbot availed himself by
commanding the brotherhood to raise the solemn chant, _De profundis
clamavi_"--_The Monastery_, chap, xxxvii.

"'To be a guest in the house where I should command?' said the
Templar; 'Never! Chaplains, raise the psalm, _Quare fremuerunt
Gentes_? Knights, squires, and followers of the Holy Temple, prepare
to follow the banner of _Beau-seant_!'"--_Ivanhoe_, chap. xliv.

[96] So many good things are washed oat of men's memory by the lapse
of even a quarter of a century that possibly some even of those who
knew all about the "Memorial" in 1852 may be willing to be reminded
what its scope and purpose were.

The petition was addressed to the bishops "in council," and
prayed for the appointment of a commission to report upon the
practicability of making this Church a central bond of union
among the Christian people of America, by providing for as much
freedom in opinion, discipline, and worship as might be held to
be compatible with the essential faith and order of the Gospel.

The desired commission was appointed, Bishops Otey, Doane, A.
Potter, Burgess, and Williams being the members of it. Their
Report, subsequently edited in book form by Bishop Potter, is one
of the most valuable documents of American Church history. The
following extract from Bishop Burgess' portion of the Report will
be read with interest by all who ever learned to revere that
theologian for the largeness of his learning, the calmness of his
judgment, and the goodness of his heart. He has been speaking of
liturgical changes as contemplated and allowed for by the framers
of our ecclesiastical system. Then he says:

"There would seem to be five contingencies in which the changes,
thus made possible and thus permitted, become also wise and salutary.

"The first is simply when it is evident that in any respect the
liturgy or its application may be rendered more perfect. To hazard
for this result the safety or unity of the Church may be inexcusable,
and the utmost certainty may be demanded before a change of
this kind shall be practically ventured. But should it be once
established, beyond the smallest doubt, that any addition or
alteration would increase the excellence or the excellent influence
of the liturgy in any degree sufficient to compensate or more than
compensate for the inconveniences incident to all change, it seems
as difficult to say that it should not be adopted by the Church,
as to excuse any Christian from adding to his virtues or his

"The other 'contingencies' recognized are briefly these:

"(2) When in process of time words or regulations have become
obsolete or unsuitable.

"(3) When civil or social changes require ecclesiastical changes.

"(4) When the earnest desire of any respectable number of the
members of the Church, or of persons who are without its communion,
is urged in behalf of some not wholly unreasonable proposal of

"(5) When error or superstition has been introduced; when that
which was at first good and healthful has been perverted to the
nourishment of falsehood or wickedness; or when that which was
always evil has found utterance, and is now revealed in its true

The Memorial failed for the reason that the promoters of it had not
a clearly defined notion in their own minds of what they wanted--the
secret of many failures. Out of its ashes there may yet rise,
however, "some better thing" that God has kept in store.

[97] _Ancient Collects and Other Prayers selected for Devotional
Use from Various Rituals_. By William Bright, M. A. J. H. & Jas.
Parker, Oxford and London.

From the Appendix I take the following illustrations of the
statement ventured above:

"_For Guidance_--O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment,
and light riseth up in darkness for the godly; grant us in all our
doubts and uncertainties the grace to ask what thou wouldest have
us to do; that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false
choices, and that in thy light we may see light, and in thy straight
path may not stumble: through Jesus Christ our Lord.

"_For those who live in sin_.--Have mercy, O compassionate Father,
on all who are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin; vouchsafe
them grace to come to themselves, the will and power to return to
thee, and the loving welcome of thy forgiveness through Jesus Christ
our Lord.

"_For all who do the work of the Church_.--O Lord, without whom
our labor is but lost, and with whom thy little ones go forth as the
mighty, be present to all works in thy Church which are undertaken
according to thy will, and grant to thy laborers a pure intention,
patient faith, sufficient success upon earth, and the bliss of
serving thee in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

"_For grace to speak the Truth in love_.--O Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ, who earnest not to strive nor cry, but to let thy words
fall as the drops that water the earth: grant all who contend
for the faith once delivered, never to injure it by clamor and
impatience, but speaking thy precious truth in love, so to present
it that it may be loved, and that men may see in it thy goodness
and thy beauty: who livest and reignest with the Father and the
Holy Ghost, one God, world without end."

Both as regards devotional flavor and literary beauty these prayers
will, I feel sure, be judged worthy, by such as will read them more
than once, to stand by the side certainly of many of the collects
already in the Prayer Book.

[98] Preached in Grace Church, N. Y., on the Twentieth Sunday after
Trinity, that being the Sunday next following the adjournment of the
General Convention of 1892.

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