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Title: Rites and Ritual - A Plea for Apostolic Doctrine and Worship
Author: Freeman, Philip
Language: English
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       *       *       *       *       *







                    "O Mother dear,
    Wilt thou forgive thy son one boding sigh?
      Forgive, if round thy towers he walk in fear,
    And tell thy jewels o'er with jealous eye?"





The following pages had been prepared, for the most part, for
publication, before it was known that the question of Ritual would
be discussed in Convocation, or a Committee of the Lower House
appointed, by the direction of the Upper House, to report upon it.

But the suggestions here offered are of so general a character, that
it seemed to the writer that they might still without impropriety
be put forth as a contribution, of however humble a kind, to the
general ventilation of the subject.

It was the writer's hope, as expressed in the original announcement
of the Pamphlet, that his Diocesan, the venerable Bishop of Exeter,
would have been able to prefix, in an Introduction, his opinion
on the leading points, whether of Ritual or Doctrine, involved in
the present controversy. And, although that hope has been in part
frustrated, he has still been privileged to embody, in an Appendix,
his Lordship's deliberate judgment on some of the weightier matters
of Eucharistic Doctrine; and to receive an assurance of his warm
interest in the subjects dwelt upon in these pages.

The writer has to apologise for having occasionally referred
the reader to a larger work of his own. He begs that this may
be understood to be merely a guarantee, that detailed proof is
forthcoming on points which could only be cursorily treated of in
the present publication.


  RITES.--Importance of them above Ritual--Serious departure of the
    English Church from primitive practice--Abeyance of Weekly
    Celebration--Proofs that Weekly Communion is part of the Divine
    Ordinance--Practical advantages of restoring it--Origin and
    history of the present unsound practice--Vigorous protest of the
    English Church against it--Difficulties in the way of a
    reformation, how to be met--Recent Eucharistic excesses--Worship
    addressed to Christ as enshrined in the Elements--Proof that this
    was not the primitive doctrine or practice--Recent origin of it
    among ourselves--Non-communicating attendance unknown to

  RITUAL.--Law of the English Church about it, how ascertainable--
    Vestments--An alternative recognised--The Vestment Rubric
    preserved--The Surplice permitted--Ritual advance at the present
    day--Choral Festivals--Church Decoration--History and rationale of
    the Eucharistic Vestments, and of the ordinary ones--Position of
    the Celebrant--Two lights on the Altar--Incense--The "Mixed
    Chalice"--The Crucifix--Minute ceremonial disallowed by the
    English Church--Suggestions as to the present controversy--Hopeful
    circumstances, and grounds of union.

  1.--APPENDIX A. Opinions of the BISHOP OF EXETER on certain
            points of Doctrine                                Page 101

  2.--APPENDIX B. Former judgment of the BISHOP OF EXETER on
            Vestments                                              103

  3.--APPENDIX C. On Saying and Singing, by the Rev. J. B. DYKES.  105

[Illustration: cover]

[Illustration: titlepage]



The position of affairs in the English Church, at the present
moment, is such as may well call forth from her children such
counsel as their affection may prompt, or their experience justify.
And, whatever be the intrinsic value, if any, of the suggestions
about to be offered here, the writer can at least testify that,
though called forth by a particular conjuncture of circumstances,
they are not the hasty or immature thoughts of the moment, but
rather an outpouring of the anxious musing of years over the
condition and prospects of a beloved and honoured Mother.

It will be conjectured, from what has now been said, that the writer
is not among the number of those who perceive, in the present
condition of the English Church, or in her rate of improvement of
late years, any grounds for satisfaction, much less for complacency
or congratulation. On the contrary, he very humbly conceives--and
his reasons for that opinion shall be given presently--that to the
spiritual eye, used to rest either on what the Church of God was
_intended to be_, or on what once, for a few centuries, she _was_,
there is, in the practical condition of the English Church one
defect of so radical a character, and which has eaten so extensively
into her entire system, that until this is, at least in a very great
measure, remedied, all else is little better than a palliative,
and little else than an illusion. There is surely something deeply
saddening in the spectacle (if it indeed be so) of a Church busying
herself with "many things"--making much show of practical activity,
of self-reparation, of improvement in services and ministries, of
extension abroad,--when all the while the "one thing," namely,
_soundness and perfectness in Apostolic faith and practice_, is in
any serious degree wanting to her. If, while she is manifesting
a feverish anxiety about the more or less of RITUAL, there is in
her RITES (of which Ritual is but the outward clothing) that which
demands repair and readjustment on an extensive scale; then it is
surely needful to press upon her, in the first instance, the redress
of such essentials, before proceeding to speak of the accessories.

And this is what the present writer, with all humility, undertakes
to make good. He is indeed far from denying that, "by the good Hand
of our God upon us," great things, of a certain kind, have been
accomplished in our day.

    "Stately thy walls, and holy are the prayers
    That day and night before thine altar rise."

Our churches have grown to be, to a great extent, the perfection
of earthly sanctuaries. Our Services are nobler and heartier. Our
church music is more worthy of the name. Better still than this,
and more to the present purpose, our communicants have increased
in numbers, our Communions in frequency. Our clergy, as a rule,
are devoted, beyond the example of former times, to their duty,
according to their conception of it. Schools are diligently cared
for, and are fairly efficient; foreign missions grow; the home
circle of charities is daily widened and rendered more effectual.
And this is "progress," or "improvement," undoubtedly. And,
were the Church a mere Machine, or a mere System, it would be
perfectly reasonable to point with satisfaction to such progress
or improvement. But the Church is neither the one nor the other.
She is a Divine Body. And what if, while some operations of that
Body are being performed with a certain increase of vigour, her
very constitution, as divinely organised by God Himself, is being
suffered to fall into habitual and chronic unsoundness?

Surely, as it is the first duty of man to do _right_, and only his
second to do _good_;--as health is the highest of bodily blessings,
so that activity, apart from it, is but spurious and imperfect;--so
is it the Church's _first_ duty to be _sound_,--_primum
valere_,--and only her second to be, if God enables her, active and

And the Church being, as I have said, a Divine Body--the Body of
Christ--it is plain that the first condition of her soundness is
_full_ as well as vital union with Christ through the appointed
medium, the Sacraments. Upon these are absolutely suspended her
existence in the first instance, and her preservation and growth
afterwards. What then, I would ask, can possibly be of more
importance than that these sacred and wonderful ministries should be
performed, _in all respects_, according to the Ordinance of Christ,
such as he delivered it to the apostles?

And if it be asked, How are we to _know_ what it was that Christ
delivered to the apostles on this subject, seeing that Holy
Scripture is confessedly brief and unsystematic in its teaching
respecting it? the answer manifestly is, By looking at the universal
practice of the Church in the time of the apostles, and during the
earliest ages after them. We know, with sufficient accuracy, what
that practice was. Their customs as to the administration of Baptism
are known to us; their Liturgies or Communion Offices are in our
hands. And, though diversities of practice, _outside_ of certain
limits, are found existing in those ages, _within_ certain limits
there is none.

Now, among the points thus defined for us by universal early usage,
is the ordained _frequency of celebration_ of both Sacraments. The
law of Holy Baptism, viz. that it should be administered once only,
was universally received. This is confessed on all hands.

And when we come to the Holy Eucharist, here, too, _the degree of
frequency_, as a law and as a _minimum_, of celebration, is defined
for us no less certainly. That this was, by universal consent and
practice, _weekly_,--namely, on every Lord's Day or Sunday--cannot
be gainsaid. That it was on occasion administered more frequently
still; that in some churches it became, we will not define how
early, even daily; that, according to some, the apostles, at the
very first, used it daily,--is beside the present question. The
point before us is, that there was no Church throughout the world
which failed, for the first three or four hundred years, to have
_everywhere a weekly celebration on the Sunday_, and to expect the
attendance of all Christians at that ordinance. Of this, I say,
there is no doubt. The custom of apostolic days is perfectly clear
from Acts xx. 7, and other passages. The testimony of Pliny, at
the beginning of the second century, is that the first Christians
met "on a stated day" for the Eucharist; while Justin Martyr (an.
150) makes it certain that that day was Sunday. And the testimony
of various subsequent writers proves that the practice continued
unbroken for three centuries. The Council of Elvira,[1] A.D. 305,
first inflicted the penalty of suspension from church privileges
on all who failed to be present for three successive Sundays; and
we know from our own Archbishop Theodore of Tarsus, A.D. 668, that
in the East that rule was still adhered to, though in the West the
penalty had ceased to be inflicted.

  [1] Can. 21. It is referred to by Hosius at the Council of Sardica,
  A.D. 347.

Now the ground which I venture to take up, as absolutely
irrefragable, is that it must needs be of most dangerous consequence
to depart from the apostolic and primitive eucharistic practice,
in _any_ of those things which were ancient and universal, and, as
such, we cannot doubt, ordained features of the Ordinance. Thus,
we rightly view with the utmost repugnance, and even sickness of
heart, the practice of the Western Church in later ages in respect
of the Elements; viz. her refusing to the laity, and to all but
the Celebrant himself, one half of the Holy Eucharist. We pity
or marvel at the flimsy pretences by which the fearful and cruel
decree, originating in the bestowal of exclusive privileges upon
the higher clergy,[2] is attempted to be justified, and its effects
to be explained away. The Western Church, we feel, must answer for
that to God as she can. But what right have we, I would ask, to
choose, among the essentials of the mysterious Ordinance, one which,
as we conceive, _we_ may dispense with, while we condemn others
who select for themselves another? And yet, what do we? what is
our practice? the practice so universally adopted throughout our
Church, that the exceptions are few, and but of yesterday; so that
those who contend for and practise the contrary are deemed visionary
and righteous over much? Alas! our practice may be stated in few
and fatally condemnatory words. The number of clergy in England
may be roundly stated at 20,000. Now, it was lately affirmed in a
Church Review of high standing, that the number who celebrate the
Holy Communion weekly in England is 200: that is to say, if this
estimate be correct, that _one in a hundred_ of our clergy conforms
to the apostolic and ecclesiastical law of the first centuries. This
statement, it is true, proves to be somewhat of an exaggeration. But
to what extent? The real number of churches where there is Holy
Communion every Sunday is, by recent returns, about 430.[3] The
number of churches in England is at least 12,000. That is to say,
that there are in England at this moment more than _eleven thousand_
parishes which, judged by the rule of the apostles, are false to
their Lord's dying command in a particular from which He left no
dispensation. It will be said, the Holy Eucharist is celebrated
in these parishes from time to time, only less _frequently_ than
of old. But who has told us that we may safely celebrate it less
frequently? How can we possibly know but that such infrequency is
direfully injurious? Take the analogy of the human body, which ever
serves to illustrate so well the nature of the Church's life. Take
pulsation, take respiration, or even food. Is not the _frequency_ of
every one of these mysterious conditions of life as certainly fixed,
as their necessity to life at all? Let pulsation or respiration
be suspended for a few minutes, or food for a few days, and what
follows but death, or trance at the best? And what know we, I ask,
of the appointed intervals for the awful _systole_ and _diastole_
of the Church's heart--of the appointed times of her inbreathing
and expiration of the _afflatus_ of the Divine Spirit--of the laws
regulating the frequency of her mysterious nourishment? What know
we, I say, of these things, but what we learn from the wondrous
Twelve, who taught us all we know of the kingdom of God?

  [2] See Mabillon, referred to in Introduction to vol. ii. of 'The
  Principles of Divine Service.'--P. 79, note _z_.

  [3] See the 'Churchman's Diary' (Masters). Another return makes the
  number only 328. See the 'Kalendar of the English Church.'

What may be the exact injury of such intermittent celebration
of the Divine Mysteries--of such scanty and self-chosen measures
of obedience to the commands of Christ,--I pretend not by these
analogies to decide. But surely it may well be that continuous and
unbroken weekly Eucharist is as a ring of magic power, if I may
use the comparison, binding in and rendering safe the Church's
mysterious life; and that _any_ rupture in that continuity is
exceedingly dangerous to her.

Or if it be contended, as not unnaturally it may, that this
particular circumstance of _frequency_, and of _weekly_ recurrence
may, notwithstanding the apostolic testimony to its importance,
be subject to variation, then I would desire to put the matter
from another point of view. One way of judging of the degree of
importance to be attached by us to any given religious element or
feature, is to observe what degree of divine care Almighty God
has bestowed in inculcating it upon the world. Thus, the Unity of
God, and again the necessity of sacrifice to atone for sin, or
procure admission to His favour, were attested throughout the whole
pre-evangelic history by special training, imparted, in the one
instance, to the Jews, in the other to all mankind.

But each of these instances of training is even surpassed by that
which God was pleased to impart respecting the mysterious Ordinance
of the WEEK. Creation, Redemption, Sanctification--the three great
phenomena of man's religious history--were all visibly based upon
the Week. About the Creation, and its septenary commemoration as
a religious ordinance, there is no real doubt whatever. In the
Jewish system the sabbath, or week, is the basis upon which the
whole structure rests.[4] And when the awful mystery of Redemption
itself was to be consummated, it was once more within the limits
of a single _week_ that the mighty drama was wrought out. From the
early morning of Palm Sunday, when our Lord entered Jerusalem as the
Lamb of God, Incarnate in order that He might suffer, to the early
morning of Easter Day, when He rose from the dead, a measured week,
rich in divine incident, ran out. Seven weeks, or a week of weeks,
again elapses, and the Spirit is sent down from on high for the
completion of the Church. All this indicates some deep mystery of
blessedness as attaching to the seven-days period in the matter of
man's relations to God. It cannot be alleged, indeed, as an absolute
_proof_ that the celebration of the Eucharist was also meant to be
of weekly recurrence, or that such recurrence would be the proper
and indefeasible law of its rightful administration. But it surely
renders that conclusion highly probable. For what purpose else, we
may ask, was all this training given? Why was the Jewish nation,
who were to be the first to receive the Gospel ordinances, and to
transmit them to mankind, carefully habituated to a seventh-day
rendering up of themselves to God? As regards the general principle
involved, it was doubtless because it is good that man should keep
with God these "short reckonings," which "make long" and eternal
"friends." But besides this, it was, as the ancient Jewish services
testify,[5] that they might keep in remembrance _two_ very wonderful
weeks of divine operation on their behalf, the week of Creation, and
the week of their own deliverance out of Egypt. What more likely
than that a seventh-day observance was to be perpetuated still, only
with reference to that antitypical Redemption, which itself also
was ordained to take place, as if for this very purpose, within the
compass of a week?

  [4] See this admirably worked out in Dr. Moberly's Sermons on the

  [5] See this proved at large in 'Principles of Divine Service,' vol.
  ii., pp. 284, _sqq._

In this point of view, the Christian Eucharist is the gathering up
of the memories of that wonderful week, called of old the "Great
Week," the "Week of Weeks." That such was its purpose might be
gathered even from the accustomed Day, no doubt appointed by Christ
Himself, for its celebration. This is not, as might perhaps have
been expected, the Thursday, the day of the Institution; not a day
in the middle of the week, but at the close of one week and the
beginning of another: that so it may look back on the marvels of the
Great Week, ever renewed in memory, and with deepest thankfulness
commemorate them. The original time of celebration in apostolic
days was at first, as it should seem, on the evening of the old
Sabbath; that is, according to the then reckoning, on the overnight
commencement, or eve, of the Sunday, on which the whole mystery was
consummated by the Resurrection. In the account of the celebration
at Troas, we find it to have been, from particular causes, already
past midnight when the celebration took place. By the time of
Pliny, in the first century, it had passed on to the morning hour
of Sunday, where it has continued ever since. Surely it is manifest
that, in the Divine Intention, the Church ought to pass week by
week, in solemn memory and mysterious sympathy, through the great
series of redeeming events, and crown her contemplation of them
by the great act of Oblation and Reception, which Christ himself
ordained for high memorial of these events, and to convey the
graces and powers flowing out of them. This is indeed to keep up a
"_continual remembrance_ of the Sacrifice of the death of Christ,
and of the benefits which we receive thereby." A weekly Eucharist is
really a _continual_ Eucharist, because it makes our whole life to
be nothing else than a living over again and again, with perpetual
application to our own practice, of those events and memories
which are the staple of the Ordinance. In this respect the Sunday
celebration of the Eucharist, viewed as crowning the week, possesses
a fitness, because a close following in the steps of Christ, in his
Incarnation and Passion, his Death and Burial and Resurrection,
which no other day can lay claim to. This fitness, of course,
reaches its height on Easter-Day, but is also realized in a very
high degree on our

  "Easter Day in every week."

Nor are there wanting more positive and distinct intimations of the
Will of God in this matter, over and above the general presumptions
which have been adduced hitherto.

It is always a somewhat delicate task to gather from the provisions
of the Old Law sure and certain conclusions as to the destined ones
of the New; because some of the former were, as the event proved,
to be entirely abrogated, or however absorbed, while others were to
abide to the end, only with new powers. Thus, the multitude of slain
sacrifices was to disappear, being absorbed and done away in the One
Slain Sacrifice. But the bread and wine of the Elder Economy were
to survive, with added powers, in the New. We cannot, therefore,
assume with certainty that the seventh-day recurrence of any feast
of the Old Law, however close its resemblance to the Eucharist in
other respects, enforces of necessity a like seventh-day recurrence
of the Christian Ordinance. But thus much may be observed, as a law
pervading the transference of the old ways of service to the new
system, that there was to be no going back, or falling short, in
this point of frequency, but an equality at the lowest, and even
some advance in that respect. Thus, the great Continual Sacrifice
of the Tabernacle and Temple, consisting in the renewal, morning
and evening, of a lamb as a burnt offering, has passed on into
the _really_ continual, and not merely _renewed_, Offering and
Presentation in Heaven of the true Lamb once for all slain. The
eucharistic or peace-offerings, again, personal or congregational,
which bear so close an analogy to the Holy Eucharist, were only
offered and partaken of, as an absolute rule, three times in the
year, though they might be, and were, offered and eaten more
frequently. So that the frequency of the Christian Eucharist, once
a week as a _minimum_, was a clear advance upon this.--But there
was another Ordinance very closely resembling the Eucharist. This
was the Shewbread. The materials of it were bread and wine; it was
offered and eaten as a memorial of the one continual sacrifice,
and as a means of presenting before God the Church of that day,
the twelve tribes of Israel. The analogy, therefore, is perfect;
especially in that no part of the offering was consumed by fire,
but the whole of that which was offered was also eaten, exactly as
in the Eucharist. That this particular Ordinance was to survive,
accordingly, with the least possible amount of transformation, in
the Gospel economy, was foretold, apparently, by Malachi. For to
this we may most safely refer his prediction, that "in every place
incense should be offered, and a pure offering;" the terms "pure
offering," and "incense," being especially applied to this rite;
and the subject treated of being the negligence of the priests,
to whom this ordinance was confined. _How often_, then, was this
offering presented and partaken of? weekly--neither more nor less;
namely, on the Sabbath morning; it having been placed on the Table
of Shewbread the Sabbath before, and being now consecrated, or
offered, by burning, upon the altar of incense, the frankincense
which had been placed on the top of the loaves for that purpose.
This "Weekly Celebration and Communion," then, as it may rightly
be called, certifies to us, on the principle above laid down, that
the Christian Eucharist, its very counterpart or continuation, was
to be weekly as a _minimum_. The same analogy would suggest, what
we know to have been the case from very early times, that the
Christian rite was not, like the Jewish, to be _limited_ to a weekly
performance. In this respect, as well as in the extension of the
rite to all Christians, now become "Priests unto God," the antitype
was to rise, on occasion at least, above the type; even to the
degree, at high seasons, or under special circumstances, of a daily
celebration. And the fact that the bread and wine offered on each
Sabbath had already lain there a week, gives much countenance to
the view advocated above, that the Christian rite is, on the Lord's
Day, retrospective, inclusive of the memories of the preceding week.
For the idea manifestly was that, in the twelve loaves, the twelve
tribes lay in a mystery all the week long, with all their actions,
before the Divine Majesty.

But we may, with much probability, go one step further, and say that
Our Lord himself, in the very words of the Institution, gave no
obscure intimation that the law of recurrence of the Ordinance was
to be that which is here contended for. Among those words there is
one, though but one, which bears upon the question of frequency. It
is, "Do this, _as oft as ye drink_, for My memorial" ὃσακις
αν πινητε]). What is the allusion here? Had the Jews any custom
at that time of "drinking" wine in solemn religious "memorial" of
national mercies; for which this greater "Memorial," of world-wide
meaning, was henceforth to be substituted? and if so, how often did
that rite recur, and what law would thus be suggested or prescribed
for the New "Memorial"?

Now, that they had such a rite[6] at that time, is rendered
infinitely probable by the fact that they have such a one at this
day; and of such a structure, and involving such reference to the
ancient system of sacrifice, as though actually going on, that it is
inconceivable but that it must have existed before the destruction
of the temple, and abolition of the law. It consisted of offering
and consecrating, at the Synagogue Service, _on the eve of every
Sabbath_, a cup of wine, which was then drunk of, first by the
consecrator, and then by the orphan children there present:--a
touching rite, signifying (as appears by the prayers accompanying
it) the fatherless condition of the nation when in Egypt, and God's
mercy in bringing them out of it, to drink of the fruit of the vine
in their own land. There were also prayers for the acceptance of the
great continual sacrifice of the nation, then lying on the altar in
the temple; for peace; for grace to keep the commandments. In all
respects, therefore, this rite bore a very close resemblance, in its
own sphere, to that which our Lord was instituting: He, too, having
offered a cup of wine, presenting thereby the Sacrifice of His
Blood, and enjoined that it should be then and ever after drunk of
in thankful memorial and all-powerful pleading of that sacrificial
deliverance. And there was yet another Sabbath-eve rite, nearly
akin to this one, only that it was a domestic rite, and performed
_at supper_, and with _bread_ as well as wine; features which, of
course, assimilated this latter form of the rite still more closely
to what our Lord was doing.

  [6] See 'Principles of Divine Service,' vol. ii., pp. 284-298.

Let it be supposed then,--and it seems to be incontestable, if the
existence of the rites at that time may be safely assumed,--that
to these rites our Lord alluded, both generally in the whole
Institution (though of course he referred to many other and greater
rites too), and specially in the words--"As oft as ye drink." We
then have from Himself a plain intimation as to the degree of
frequency of Celebration. Such an intimation would, apart from
subsequent instructions during the Forty Days, account for the
"First day of the week" being mentioned for celebration, as if a
fixed habit, in the Acts of the Apostles.

These things considered then;--the deep mystery for good attaching,
from the very Creation downwards, to the seventh-day recurrence
of religious ordinances; the special fitness of such a law of
recurrence in the case of the Holy Eucharist, because it is the
summing up of a Divine Week's Work of Redemption and Salvation;
the sharply defined presignification, by means of the Law and the
Prophets, the shewbread and Malachi, of a seventh-day rite of
universal obligation, and blessedness yet to come; lastly, and chief
of all, the brief but pregnant command of Our LORD Himself, gathered
with the utmost probability from the very words of the Institution;
and all this, not left to our inference, but actually countersigned
by the unvarying practice of the Church throughout the world for
three hundred years:--all this considered, I conceive that we have
very strong grounds indeed for affirming the proper obligation of
this law of recurrence, and for earnestly desiring that it might
please the Great Head of the Church to put it into the mind of this
branch of it to return, with all her heart, to the discharge of this
most bounden duty.

I have preferred, in what has been said, to place this duty on
the lofty ground of zeal for the integrity of the great Mystery
of our religion, and of reverence for the commands of Christ, and
the practice of His Apostles, rather than on the lower ones of
expediency and advantage. And in this light I would earnestly desire
that it may be primarily regarded. The _only_ question for any
branch of God's Church ought to be, What is commanded? What did God
Almighty intend, and types foreshadow, and Christ enjoin, and the
Apostles practise? Whatever _that_ was, it must be right for us to
aim at, and to strive for it with all our hearts.

Yet I would not have it supposed but that there is every reason
to hope for the largest measures of blessing, and of spiritual
results, from a return to this practice. I will mention one very
great scandal, the very canker and weakness of our whole parochial
system, which has a fair likelihood of being removed by this means.
Next to the infrequency of our Communions, the fewness of our
communicants,--that is, in fact, of our _bonâ fide_ members of the
Church,--is our greatest and most inveterate evil. When this fewness
is allowed its due significance, we must see and confess that the
nominally Christian condition of this country is but an illusion
and an untruth after all. Judged by our own Church's rule (which
is the rule of Christ Himself), our _communicants_, and they only,
are our people. The rest may call themselves what they will; or we
may for euphony call them "our flocks," or God's people. But one
thing is certain, that in those apostolic or early days to which
we ever appeal, and rightly, as our standard, they would have been
held to be reprobates, and no faithful members of Christ's body at
all. Such then is our condition:--a miserable handful, even among
those who are nominally members of the Church, having any claim to
the title in reality. Now, how are these wanderers to be brought
back? these abortive or moribund Christians to be induced to accept
the gift of life, through the indispensable Sacrament? Surely, for
the most part, even in the same way as converts are brought in, one
by one, in heathen lands. Public ministrations, sermons, services,
will not do it. It is a personal effort, a personal rendering up
of self, that is needed; and it is only by seizing and pressing,
in private intercourse, the chance occasions of speech, the day of
sorrow, or of conviction of sin, that we can induce men to make this
effort. But, unhappily, when they are prepared to make it, in the
vast majority of our parishes, the "Communion Sunday" is too often
a far-off event: and before it arrives the favourable impression
and disposition has passed away. While, on the other hand, the
ever-ready rite secures the communicant. In saying this, I am not
merely theorizing, but describing what I have found to take place
within my own experience. It has been found that in this way nearly
one-third of the entire population of a parish may be brought in a
few years to Holy Communion. Surely some may be induced to try the
effect, were it with this view only, of the restoration of Weekly

I am well aware, indeed, of the difficulties which, in many cases,
stand in the way of such a restoration, and on these I would venture
to say a few words.

In the first place, then, the state of things which prevails
among us, and of which I have above ventured to speak in such
strong language of deprecation, is one which we of this generation
have not made, but inherited. It is not we, God be thanked, that
have diminished, but rather, in almost all cases, increased, the
frequency of our celebrations. The guilt of this evil custom is
shared by the whole Church of fifteen hundred years past; and
therefore we must not be surprised if very great difficulties are
found in correcting it. The history of the desuetude, which we
behold and deplore, is simply this. For nearly three centuries,
scarcely any breach was made in the Church's Eucharistic practice.
Not only was there universal weekly celebration, but universal
weekly reception also; with only such abatement, doubtless, as
either discipline or unavoidable hindrance entailed. But the ninth
of the so-called Apostolic canons, belonging probably to the third
century, speaks of some "who came in to hear the Scriptures, but
did not remain for the prayer (_i.e._ the Communion service) and
holy reception." All such were to be suspended from Communion,
as "bringing disorder into the Church," _i.e._ apparently (with
reference to 2 Thess. iii. 6), as "walking disorderly, and not
after the tradition received from the Apostles." By about A.D.
305, the Council of Elvira, as cited above, orders suspension
after absence from the Church _three successive_ Sundays: a
curious indication of "monthly Communions" having been an early,
as it continues to this day a favourite, form of declension from
primitive practice. But by St. Chrysostom's time (c. 400) so rapidly
had the evil increased, that he speaks of some who received but
twice a year; and even of there being on occasion none at all to
communicate. But this seems to have been but local, since we find
the Council of Antioch, A.D. 341, reiterating the Apostolic canon:
and even three centuries later, the old rule of suspension for three
absences was still in force in the East; as Theodore of Tarsus,
Archbishop of Canterbury in 668, testifies of the _Greek_ Church,
from which he came. But even in the East the decline was rapid.
The Apostolical usage, confirmed by the ninth canon, was admitted
to be binding; but obedience to it was given up as hopeless. Nay,
even the laxer rule of Elvira was stretched by Canonists,[7] so as
to recognise _attendance without reception_ as sufficient. In the
West the habit was all along laxer still than in the East. At Rome,
as Theodore tells us, no penalty was inflicted for failing to
communicate for three Sundays; but the more devout still received
every Sunday and Saint's-day in the time of St. Bede; whereas in
England, as St. Bede tells us, even the more religious laity did
not _presume_ to communicate--so utterly had the Apostolic idea of
Communion perished--except at Christmas, Epiphany, and Easter. Some
attempt was made in Spain and France[8] in the sixth century to
revive the pure Apostolic rule. But meanwhile the Council of Agde,
held in 506, discloses the actual state of things by prescribing,
as the condition of Church membership, _three_ receptions in the
year--at Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost.[9] The recognition of
this miserable pittance of grace, as sufficient for membership in
Christ, was rapidly propagated through East and West; and remains,
unhappily, as the _litera scripta_ of two out of the three great
branches of the Church--the Eastern and the English--to this day. In
the Roman Church, ever since the Fourth Lateran Council in 1214, but
_one_ reception a year is enjoined under penalty; viz. at Easter.
The English Church, however, never accepted the Lateran decree;
but by Canons of Salisbury (about 1270), and of Lambeth (1378),
re-affirmed the thrice-a-year rule. By the time of the Reformation,
however, as is evident from the rubric attached to the Communion
Office in Edward VI.'s First Book, reception once a year had become
the recognised minimum in this country also. Meanwhile the miserable
practice grew up, as a result of the lack of communicants, of the
priest celebrating a so-called "Communion," on occasion at least,
alone. It is probable that in the earlier days, as _e. g._ of St.
Chrysostom, there were always clergy to receive; the "parochial"
system of that time being to congregate several clergy at one cure.
But in the ninth century, solitary celebrations existed extensively,
and were forbidden,[10] in the West. Not, however, to much purpose.
It soon became the rule, rather than the exception, for the priest
to celebrate alone; and thus it continued until the Reformation.
The Council of Trent contented itself with feebly wishing things
were otherwise; and justified the abuse on the ground of vicarious
celebration and spiritual communion.

 [7] So Balsamon, in the twelfth century: "Though some desire by
 means of this Canon to oblige those who come to Church to receive
 the Sacraments against their will, yet we do not; for we decide that
 the faithful are to stay to the end of the Divine Sacrifice; but we
 do not force them to communicate."--See Scudamore, 'Communion of the
 Faithful,' p. 58. Yet later writers acknowledged the true meaning of
 the Canon, though they thus condemned the existing practice of the

 [8] Council of Lugo, A.D. 572; of Maçon, A.D. 585.

 [9] "Sæculares qui natale Domini, pascha et pentecosten non
 communicaverint, catholici non credantur nec inter catholicos
 habeantur."--Concil. Agath., c. 18.

 [10] Council of Paris (829).

It was in her gallant and noble protest, single-handed, against this
vast and desolating perversion of the Ordinance of Christ, that the
English Church, far from her own desire, and only borne down by the
accumulated abuse of ages, lapsed into that unhappy desuetude of the
Weekly Celebration, which prevails so widely to this hour. In her
First Revised Communion Office she provided that, in order "that the
receiving of the Sacrament may be most agreeable _to the Institution
thereof, and to the usage of the Primitive Church_, some one, at the
least, of that house in every parish, to whom it appertaineth to
offer [at the Offertory] for the charges of the Communion, or some
other whom they shall provide, shall receive the Communion with the
Priest."[11] It is added, that "on _week-days_ he shall _forbear
to celebrate except he have some that will communicate with him_."
Another rubric provided, that "on Wednesdays and Fridays" (which
had traditionally[12] been the great week-days for celebration in
this country), "though there might be none to communicate with the
priest, yet on those days" (after the Litany ended) "he should
put on a plain albe or surplice, with a cope, and say all things
at the altar appointed to be said at the celebration, until after
the Offertory." And this rule was extended to "all other days,"
meaning apparently customary high holydays, occurring in the week,
"whensoever the people were customably assembled to pray in the
church, and none disposed to communicate with the priest."

 [11] Rubric at the end of the Communion Service, 1549.

 [12] Thus, in the Sarum Use, separate Epistles and Gospels are
 provided for those days throughout Advent, Epiphany, and Easter,
 till Whitsuntide; for Wednesdays only throughout the Trinity period.

Thus was a solemn protest made, and not in word only, as in other
parts of the Church, but by outward deed, against the unpardonable
and fatal neglect of the people to avail themselves of the ordinance
of Christ. On _Sundays_ only (so the rubric seems to mean) a
peculiar provision was made, so that there should, without fail, be
attendants at the celebration. But on week-days, on which there was
no such Divine obligation to celebrate, the Church would carry her
protest still further. While vesting her ministers, as if ready, for
their parts, for the rite, she would refuse to volunteer a mode of
celebration, for which there was no precedent in the early and pure
days of Christianity.

Such appears to have been the intention of the First Book of
Edward VI. The expedient of performing the Communion Service up to
a certain point only, on Wednesdays and Fridays, was manifestly
adopted from the ancient Church of Alexandria, where, as Socrates
has recorded, exactly this usage prevailed on those days. In the
Second Book of Edward VI. (revised, be it remembered, in part by
members of the same Committee of Divines as the First was, and
professing the same doctrine),[13] the provision for the compulsory
attendance of each household in turn was laid aside, probably as
being found impracticable. And now at length the step was taken, to
which sound principles of action had in reality pointed all along;
and it was ordained that, if the people, appealed to as they had
been, and would continue still to be, persisted on any given Sunday
in excommunicating themselves, they should even be permitted to
do so. The great unreality of a Communion, which was no Communion
according to the Ordinance of Christ, should be done away. The
minister should still be ready on all Sundays and holydays at
the altar; but it would be left, awfully left, for the people to
say whether Christ's ordinance should have place, or whether its
continuity should be violated, and its benefits so far forfeited.

  [13] See 'Principles of Divine Service,' Introd. to Part II., p.
  123-129. Mr. Perry ('Declaration on Kneeling') arrives at the same

And who will deny that such a course was, though a choice of evils,
the right one? What had the other practice done, but lull the Church
of God into a fatal satisfaction with a state of things as widely
different from primitive Eucharist and primitive Christianity, as
any one thing can well be from another? And if those other sad
results have followed, which we behold before our eyes, let not
the blame be laid on the age which has inherited, but on the ages
which had accumulated and transmitted, such an inveterate habit
of neglect to receive the Holy Communion. Be it remembered, too,
that (as has been well pointed out of late) the period of the
Great Rebellion caused an entire suspension of the Church's proper
rites. "The Sacrament was laid aside, in those distracting times,
in many parishes in the kingdom, for near twenty years." (Bishop
Patrick.) "This solemn part of religion was almost quite forgotten;
the Remembrance of Christ's Death was soon lost among Christians."
(Archbishop Tillotson.) "The Sacrament was laid aside, in Cromwell's
days, in most parishes in the nation. In many churches there was no
_speaking_ of the Sacrament for fifteen or sixteen years; till it
was feared the Lord's Supper would come to be ranked among those
superstitious ceremonies that must be abolished." (Dr. Durell.)
These testimonies considered, the real wonder would be if there had
_not_ been found very great difficulty in bringing back, at the time
of the Restoration, the primitive habit of Weekly Celebration. And
now that we have added two hundred years more of neglect, we have to
face the mighty difficulty of awakening a whole nation, of clergy
and laity alike, to a due sense of our very grievous departure from
that Apostolic model, to which professedly we appeal as our standard
of duty.

And the task would seem to be hopeless, were it not, 1st, that a
great and powerful movement tending to this result has already
for many years been going forward; and, 2nd, that there is reason
for believing that vast numbers of the clergy are really anxious
to restore the primitive practice, and are only held back by
difficulties, either real or imagined. Of this latter fact it is in
my power to speak with some confidence; since I have been frequently
urged, by no inconsiderable number of my brethren, to set forth, as
I have now very imperfectly endeavoured to do, the grounds for such
a restoration.

What then, supposing the clergy to be really anxious for it, are
the difficulties in the way? The first and most obvious is that of
finding a sufficient number of Communicants. This is to be overcome
in a great measure by careful heed to that pregnant charge given to
the clergy at their Ordination, "So to sanctify the lives of _them
and theirs_, and to _fashion them after the Rule and Doctrine of
Christ_, that they" (that is the clergy and their households) "may
be godly examples and patterns for the people to follow." And again
they are charged "to frame the manners of _them that specially
pertain to them_." These injunctions suggest, that in the families
and dependences of the parochial clergy ought to be found a nucleus
and centre of all Christian living. Frequent Communion, at the
least--weekly, if possible--should be the normal condition of the
Clergyman's household, and of all who are allowed any special part
in, or connexion with, the Services of the Church. Care being taken
of this, it may well be hoped that at least a gradual reform might
be made: the stereotyped monthly Communions being exchanged for
a fortnightly, and finally for the full "orbed round" of Weekly

But there is also a _vis inertiæ_ to be overcome, among the middle
classes more especially, in the form of an objection to frequent
Celebration at all. This, being founded in misapprehension, and
a vague general distrust of the object of such changes, must be
removed, in part by full and earnest setting forth of the grounds
for them; but still more by extending to those classes a fuller
measure of education, including, as it cannot fail to do, a juster
conception of the Church's duty and claims.

Another difficulty is the increased amount of labour which a weekly
Communion, if largely attended, as it ought to be, would entail
upon the clergy. This may in part be compensated for by keeping
the eucharistic sermon within more moderate limits. Even so,
however, the service is to the full long and laborious for a priest
single-handed; while the great majority of benefices are unable to
maintain a second clergyman, even in Deacon's Orders. And the true
remedy for this, and for the kindred difficulty of maintaining the
Daily Service, would seem to lie in that revival of the Order of
Subdeacons which has of late been so much urged, and which seems
likely to be countenanced by our ecclesiastical authorities.[14]
The duties of a Subdeacon might, it is thought, include the reading
of the daily Office (excepting, of course, the Absolution), of
the Epistle, and some other subordinate portions of the Communion
Service. And it may be worth considering (though I offer the
suggestion with much diffidence), seeing that the Diaconate, as used
among us, trenches so largely upon the duties of old assigned to the
priest (such as preaching), whether it would not be proportionate
that the Subdeacon should be advanced, in some cases, to a
restrained Diaconate, and administer the Cup also. Such a provision
would diminish by one-half the time and labour of administration.

  [14] See 'The Revival of the Subdiaconate,' a pamphlet; and the
  Suggestions of the Archdeacon of London, put forth in his Charge
  of 1850, and lately revised at a meeting of his Clergy of his
  Archdeaconry, "not without the full knowledge and sanction of the
  Archbishops and of the Bishop of London."

On the whole, I cannot but hope that, if our Right Reverend Fathers
in God, the Bishops, should think fit to press upon their clergy,
and they upon their flocks, the duty of Weekly Celebration as alone
fulfilling the commandment of Christ, a great deal might be done
towards rolling away this heavy reproach from us.

And let it be borne in mind, as an encouragement, that this is the
_only_ point absolutely wanting to complete our agreement, in every
particular, with the apostolic practice. Such of our churches as
have already, week by week, a fairly attended Celebration, to which
all the faithful are heartily invited and urged to come,--such
churches exhibit a spectacle of really Apostolical Eucharistic
Service, such as the whole world beside cannot produce. Neither in
East or West, but in the English Church only, is weekly Communion,
as the bounden duty of all Christians, so much as dreamt of; so
utterly has the apostolic model, throughout Christendom, faded from
the memory of the Church of God.

       *       *       *       *       *

I turn now to another form of eucharistic error which has obtained
some footing among us. In what has been said above, the mind and
practice of the _first ages_ have been appealed to as the absolute
standard of eucharistic duty. And on this point we cannot, surely,
be too solicitous, or too firm in resisting any departure from it.
Such is, at any rate, the mind of the English Church. "Before all
things we must be sure that this Sacrament be ministered in such
wise as our Saviour did, and the good fathers in the primitive
Church frequented it." The position amounts to this,--that whatever
was then held to be true, and was acted upon, must be true, and
ought to be acted upon still. And the converse position is no less
important,--that whatever was demonstrably _not_ held nor was acted
upon then, cannot be true at all, and ought not to be acted upon now.

But this position has now, for some few years past, been, in
practice, abandoned by some who have interested themselves in the
eucharistic condition of the English Church. Doctrines have been
maintained, and practices founded upon them, about which, whatever
defence may be set up for them, thus much at least is certain, and
can be proved to demonstration, that they find no recognition in the
ritual of the primitive ages.

I speak more especially of the tenet, that one purpose, and a
very principal one to say the least, of the Holy Eucharist, is to
_provide the Church with an object of Divine Worship, actually
enshrined in the Elements--namely, our Lord Jesus Christ_; and
that the Church ought accordingly to pay towards that supposed
personal Presence of Christ on the altar, and towards the Elements
as containing Him, that worship, which at other times she directs to
Him as seated at the Right Hand of God. Such is the position laid
down and acted upon.

Now, it might be shewn that there are infinite objections to this
tenet, and that it involves vast difficulties and perplexities. But
the one answer which is _instar omnium_, and must be held to be
absolutely decisive against it, is that it was evidently _unknown to
the mind, because unrecognised by the Ritual, of the first ages_.
The altar, we are told, is, for the time being, the Majestic Throne
of Christ; His Presence there (I cite the language of the upholders
of this view) is of such a nature as to demand at our hands the same
worship as we commonly pay to the Holy Trinity in Heaven. Now, if
this be really so, it necessitates, as a matter of course, acts of
Service, of Worship, of Prayer, of Invocation, addressed to Christ
so present and so enthroned. Let, then, the upholders of it produce
a _single instance_ from the Ancient Communion Offices of a prayer,
or even an invocation, so addressed. It cannot be done. Or if there
be found such an one lurking in some remote corner of a Liturgy, its
manifest departure from the whole tone and bearing of the rest of
the Office stamps it at once as late and unauthoritative.

And this is the leading consideration,--that the entire drift and
structure of the Eucharistic Service is against such a view. _Its_
keynote is "_Sursum corda_." This we are now called upon to give
up, and to turn our worship, and the direction of our hearts, to
an object enshrined on earth.--But besides this, the Liturgies
throughout speak of that which is consecrated, and lies upon the
altar, as _Things_, and not as a person. But if it be indeed Christ
Himself that lies there, is it reverent to speak of HIM as "Things,"
"Offerings," or even as "Mysteries"? Yet what is the language of the
ancient Liturgies, after the consecration? "Bestow on us benefit
from these Offerings" (Lit. S. Chrys.). "That we may become worthy
partakers of Thy holy Mysteries" (Syr. Lit. S. James). "Holy Things
for holy persons:" or (as it is otherwise rendered) "The Holy
Things to the Holy Places;" or in the Western uses, "Desire these
Things (_hæc_) to be carried up by the hands of Thy Holy Angel
unto thy sublime altar, into the Presence of Thy Majesty." It is
intelligible, that for the divine and mysterious _Things_, the Body
and Blood of Christ, we should desire contact with the mysterious
heavenly altar, on which "the Lamb that was slain" personally
presents Himself; but that we should desire this for Christ Himself
would be incomprehensible, if not irreverent.

And let these words of S. Chrysostom's Liturgy be especially
pondered: "Hear us, O Lord Jesus Christ, out of Thy Holy
Dwelling-place, and from the _Throne of the glory of Thy kingdom_;
Thou that sittest above with the Father, and here art invisibly
present with us: and by thy mighty Hand _give us to partake_ of Thy
spotless Body and Thy precious Blood." Is it not perfectly certain
from hence, that, in the conception of antiquity, Our Blessed Lord
was _not_ lying personally upon the altar? that, personally, He was,
as regards His Majestic Presence, on His Throne in Heaven? and as
regards His Mysterious Presence on earth, it was to be sought, not
in or under the Elements, but (according to the proper law of it) in
and among the faithful, the Church of God there present? For He is
invited to come, by an especial efflux or measure of that Presence,
and to give the mysterious Things, His Body and Blood.

The same conclusion follows from the language of the Fathers, taken
in its full range. Let any one examine Dr. Pusey's exhaustive catena
of passages from the Fathers, concerning the "Real Presence," and he
will find that, for one instance in which That which is on the Altar
is spoken of as if it were Christ Himself, it is called a hundred
times by the title, "His Body and Blood." The latter is manifestly
the exact truth; the former the warm and affectionate metonymy,
which gives to the mysterious Parts, the Body and Blood, the titles
due only properly to the Divine and Personal Whole.

Vain then, and necessarily erroneous, because utterly devoid of
countenance from the ancient Apostolic Rites, are the inferences
by which this belief is supported. Though, indeed, the fallacy of
the inferences themselves is sufficiently apparent. It is said that
Christ's Body, wherever it is, and under whatsoever conditions
existing, must demand and draw Divine Worship towards it. Is it so
indeed? Then why, I would ask, do we not pay Divine Worship to the
CHURCH? for the Church certainly is "His Body, His Flesh, and His
Bones." Nay, why do we not worship the individual communicant? for
he, certainly, has received not only Christ's Body, but Christ's
very Self, to dwell within him. The truth is, that inferences, in
matters of this mysterious nature, are perfectly untrustworthy,
unless supported and countersigned by apostolic practice.

I am aware that this doctrine has been embraced, of late years, by
some of the most devout and eminent of our divines. But the history
of their adoption of it is such, that we may allege themselves, in
the exercise of their own earlier and unbiassed judgment, against
their present opinions. The names of those divines are named with
reverence and affection, and justly so, wherever the English
language is spoken. But the works, on which that estimate was first
founded, upheld, explicitly or tacitly, the opposite of that to
which they now lend the high sanction of their adhesion. A sermon
on the Catholic doctrine of the Holy Eucharist was called forth
from one of them by a sentence of suspension from preaching in
the University pulpit at Oxford. But this full exposition of his
eucharistic views at that time is absolutely devoid of any claim
for Divine Adoration as due to the Body and Blood of Christ, or to
Christ Himself as present under the Eucharistic Elements. Again, in
a well-known stanza of the 'Christian Year,' another honoured divine
has said,--

    "O come to our Communion Feast;
      There present in the heart,
    _Not in the hands_, th' eternal Priest
      Will His true self impart."[15]

  [15] It is true that another part of the same exquisite volume
  speaks of--

        "The dear feast of JESUS dying,
        _Upon that altar ever lying_,
        Where souls, with sacred hunger sighing,
      Are called to sit and eat, while angels prostrate fall."

  But this is exactly an instance of the warm metonymy above spoken
  of, and cannot be pressed against the distinct disallowance,
  contained in the passage quoted in the text, of there being a
  _personal Presence_ of Christ in the Elements.

And it is believed that the first appearance in a modern days of
the _former_ doctrine, viz. that worship is due to the Body and
Blood of Christ, was in the year 1856, in the case of Ditcher _v._
Denison.[16] It was through a chivalrous desire to uphold a cause,
with the main aspects of which they naturally felt a deep sympathy,
that the writers referred to were drawn into countenancing a
doctrine, then new to their theology, but of the truth of which, on
examination, they seem to have satisfied themselves. Surely we may
believe that it was not without misgiving that they thus abandoned
the doctrines which they once taught us. They cannot have felt
altogether satisfied thus to break with the Church of the First Ages
in a matter so momentous as that of the Object of worship, and of
the nature and purpose of the Holy Eucharist.

  [16] See note at the end.

Closely connected with this doctrine, is a practice not merely
defended of late, but strongly urged as being of the very essence
of exalted Eucharistic duty:--that of being present at the Rite
_without receiving_; for the purpose, it is alleged, of adoring
Christ as present under the Elements. But here again the Early
Church furnishes thorough condemnation of the practice. In an
exhaustive treatise,[17] it has been shown that, except as a deeply
penitential act, she knew of no such practice; making no account
whatever of attendance on the rite apart from reception: rightly
viewing it as a Sacrifice indeed, but a Sacrifice of that class
or kind in which _partaking_ was an essential and indispensable
feature. And the English Church, it is almost unnecessary to add,
though a faint endeavour has been made to disprove it, has given
no more countenance than the Church of old to this practice.
Contenting herself, at first, at the Reformation, with forbidding
non-communicants to remain in the choir, she afterwards so
effectually discouraged and disallowed their presence at all, that
it became unmeaning to retain the prohibition any longer.[18]

  [17] Rev. W. Scudamore's 'Communion of the Faithful.'

  [18] This is fully proved by Scudamore, 'Communion of the Faithful,'
  pp. 107-120.

And in truth it is, as might be expected, to the later and corrupt
ages of the Church that we owe both of these positions which it
is now attempted to revive among us: viz. that in the language of
the decrees of Trent,[19] "our Lord Jesus Christ, God and Man, is
truly, really, and substantially contained in the Sacrament of
the Eucharist," _i. e._ in the Elements, "and is to be adored" as
contained therein: and again, that the faithful may be present
merely to adore, and may communicate spiritually,[20] though, as has
been well said, "they purposely neglect the only mode of doing so
ordained by Christ."

  [19] Council of Trent, Session 13, c. 1. See 'Principles of Divine
  Service,' Introd. to vol. ii., pp. 158-187.

  [20] Session 22, c. 6.

The latter position--respecting non-communicating attendance--has
been lately discountenanced[21] by one of those eminent divines
who are generally claimed as sanctioning the entire system to
which it belongs. And though the number of those among the clergy
who have embraced these views is not inconsiderable, while their
piety and devotedness are unquestionable, yet I cannot doubt that
at least an equal number, in no way their inferiors in learning or
devotion, deeply deplore these departures from the primitive faith.
And it is not too much to hope, that, as the English Church has
witnessed a school of postmediæval or unsacramental divinity, which,
notwithstanding its piety and earnestness, has ceased to exercise
much influence among us, even so it may be with the mediæval and
ultra-sacramental school which has lately risen up. Defend their
views how they will, what they are seeking to introduce is a _new
cultus_, and a _new religion_, as purely the device of the middle
ages, as non-sacramentalism was the device of Calvin and Zwingle.
And the one doctrine as distinctly demands a new Prayer-book as the
other does. What the English Church, on her very front, professes,
is neither postmediævalism nor mediævalism, but apostolicity. Since
choose she must, (for the two are utterly irreconcilable) between
symbolising with the mediævalising Churches of the West, and
symbolising with the Church of the first ages, she has taken her
part, and her deliberate mind is "Sit Anima Mea cum Apostolis."

  [21] See Mr. Keble's letter in the 'Guardian,' Jan. 24, 1866.

       *       *       *       *       *

From RITES, I turn to RITUAL, which claims at this moment the larger
share of attention.

How, then, are the Services of the English Church to be performed,
so as to be in accordance with her mind and principles? It will
be answered, that the Services ought to be conducted according to
"the Book of Common Prayer and _Administration of the Sacraments_,
according to the use of the Church of England."[22] But this, though
at first sight the true and sufficient answer, is not, in reality,
either true or sufficient. The duty in question, that of conducting
the Services of the Church, is laid upon particular persons: and it
is by recurring to the exact terms of the obligation laid on those
persons, when they are solemnly commissioned to their office, that
we must seek for an answer. Now the engagement exacted by the Bishop
from candidates for the priesthood, at their Ordination, is, in
exact terms, this: "Will you give your faithful diligence always
so to minister the Doctrine and Sacraments, and the Discipline of
Christ, as the Lord hath commanded, _and as this Church and Realm
hath received the same_?" The italicised words contain the gist of
the whole matter. By the interpretation we put upon them must our
standard of Ritual be determined.

  [22] Preface concerning the Service of the Church.

What then "hath this Church and Realm received," at the present
moment, in the matter of Ritual? Not the Prayer-book standing
absolutely, and alone, without any comment or addition whatsoever:
but that Book, as interpreted and modified, in certain respects,
by subsequent enactments, which have in various ways obtained,
practically, the Church's recognition. The truth is, that
this country has taken a certain line, and the same line, in
her ecclesiastical and in her civil polity. In civil matters,
Magna Charta is the broad basis and general draught of her free
constitution. But the particulars of that constitution have been
from time to time regulated and modified, not by interlining the
original document, but by separate statutes. And the Prayer-book,
in like manner, is the ecclesiastical Magna Charta of the Church
and Realm. For upwards of two centuries--since 1662--it has
received no authoritative interlineation whatever; and but few and
slight ones (subsequently to its first settlement in 1549-1559)
for another century before that. The differences which are found
at the present moment in any two copies of the Prayer-book are
purely unauthorised. They are merely editions for convenience.
The Sealed Book, settled in 1662--that, and no other--is the
English Prayer-book. For more than three centuries, then, we may
say that a policy of non-interlineation, so to call it--that is,
of leaving intact the original document--has been very markedly
adhered to. Such alterations or modifications as have, practically,
been made and accepted by the Church and Realm, have been effected
by enactments external to the Prayer-book. Injunctions, canons,
statutes, judicial decisions, have from time to time been allowed,
_nemine contradicente_, to interpret or even contravene particular
provisions of the Book. And, not least of all, custom itself has,
in not a few particulars, acquired the force of law, and though not
as yet engrossed in any legal document, has long been, in practice,
part and parcel of our ecclesiastical polity.

Instances in point are,--1. Of an injunction practically recognised
as law, that of Queen Elizabeth, permitting the use of "a hymn
or such like song in the beginning or in the end of the Common
Prayers;" whereas the Prayer-book recognises no such feature or
element. It is on this injunction, and on that alone, that the
practice, now universal, is based. Other instances, again, of royal
injunctions, constantly acted upon, are those by which the names
of the sovereign and royal family, _pro re natâ_, are inserted and
altered; a power given indeed, by implication, in the Prayer-book
itself, because necessary by the nature of the case; but not
expressly there,[23] and a departure, speaking literally, from the
Sealed Book. Such, again, is the use of prayers or thanksgivings
enjoined on special occasions by royal authority. These it has so
long been customary to accept and use, that no serious question is
now made of their legality.

  [23] It is provided for, as is well known, by the Act of Uniformity,
  13 & 14 Car. II.

2. An instance of a canon obtaining recognition by common consent,
though irreconcilable with the rubric of the Prayer-book, is that of
the 58th of 1604, which orders any minister, when "ministering the
sacraments," to wear a surplice; whereas the rubric recognises for
the Holy Communion far other "Ornaments of the Church, and of the
ministers thereof."

3. A case of statute law being allowed to supplement rubrical
provision, by adding an alternative, is that which orders Banns of
Marriage to be asked after the Second Lesson at Evening Service, if
there be no Morning Service. Such too, as the Dean of Westminster
lately pointed out in Convocation, was the Act of Toleration; as
is also the Act empowering bishops to require a second sermon on

4. Judicial decisions, once more, are from time to time unavoidable.
By these a certain interpretation is put upon the rubrics of the
Prayer-book; and unless protested against, as sometimes they are, in
some weighty and well-grounded manner, they are practically embodied
in the standing law of the Church.

5. And lastly, apart from any legal prescription whatever, various
usages and practices, especially in matters not expressly provided
for in the Prayer-book, have obtained so generally, as to be a
part of what may be called the "common law" of the Church, though
liable to revision by the proper authority. Such is the alternate
recitation, in Churches where it obtains, of the psalms, between
the Minister and the people. Such too is, in reality, the use of
any other mode of saying the Service than that of reciting it on
a musical note; for none other was intended by the Church, nor is
recognised in the Prayer-book.[24] Such, once more, is the having
any sermon beyond the rubrical one.

  [24] See, in proof of this, the admirable letter, which, by the kind
  permission of the Rev. J. B. Dyke, late Precentor of Durham, I have
  placed in the Appendix.

On the whole, it cannot be gainsaid, that what "this Church and
realm hath received," and what her Ministers, therefore, undertake
to carry out in their ministrations, is _not_ the Book of Common
Prayer, pure and simple, _but_ that Book as their main guide and
Magna Charta, yet interpreted and modified here and there, and in
some few but not unimportant points, by provisions or considerations
external to it. When, therefore, the candidate for Holy Orders, or
for admission to a benefice, undertakes, by signing the Thirty-sixth
Canon, that "he will use the form in the said Book prescribed in
Public Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, _and none
other_," it cannot be understood that the directions of that
Book are, without note, comment, or addition, his guide in every
particular. For he is about, if a candidate for Ordination, to
promise solemnly before the Church that he will minister "as this
Church and Realm hath received;" a formula, as has been shown, of
much wider range than the letter of the Prayer-book. And in like
manner, if a candidate for a benefice, he has already, at his
Ordination, made that larger undertaking, and cannot be understood
to narrow it now by subscribing to the Canon. And if it be asked,
Why were the terms of the Thirty-sixth Canon made so stringent
originally by the addition of the words "and none other;" or why
should these words be retained now? the answer is, that originally,
as a matter of historical fact, the Canon was directed against
wilful depravers and evaders of the Book and its rules; not against
such interpretations, or even variations and additions, as had all
along obtained on various grounds, and are in fact unavoidable by
the nature of things. "No one," says the late Bishop Blomfield,
"who reads the history of those times with attention can doubt
that the object of the Legislature, who imposed upon the clergy a
subscription to the above Declaration, was the substitution of the
Book of Common Prayer" (subject, even then, to Injunctions, Canons,
and customs already modifying it here and there) "for the Missal
of the Roman Catholics, or the Directory of the Puritans." And the
present retention of the wording of the Canon stands on the same
grounds. It is necessary that a promise, and that of a stringent
kind, should be exacted of the clergy of a Church, or licence would
be unbounded. But on the other hand, it is perfectly intelligible,
and has the advantage of practicability, that the words should be
understood to speak of the Book as modified in the way in which it
has all along, by universal consent, been held to be modified. If
it be replied that this, too, opens a door to endless licence, I
answer, No. The modifications are, for the most part, as definite
as the document itself, and are in number few, though they cover,
on occasion, a considerable range of actions. The Prayer-book, in
short, is not unlike a monarch, nominally absolute, and for the most
part really such; but on whom a certain degree of pressure has from
time to time been brought to bear, and may be brought to bear again.
But its actual _status_ is at any given time fairly ascertainable.
It might be well, indeed, that all this occasional legislation
should be digested by the only proper authority, viz. the conjoint
spiritualty and temporalty of the realm, into one harmonious and
duly authorised whole. But for the time being the position of things
is sufficiently intelligible.

And now to apply this view of Prayer-book law, so to call it, to
the matter which especially engages attention at this moment,--that
of the manner of administering the Holy Communion; and first to the
vestments of the clergy.

1. Now, if there be any one point in which the English Church _is_,
what she has most untruly been asserted to be in other points,
namely, broad and _alternative_ in her provisions, it is this one
of the ornaments or dress of her clergy. While, in the matter
of doctrine, Heaven forfend that she should have two minds, and
give her children their choice which they should embrace--seeing
that so would she forfeit the name and being of a "Church"
altogether;--certain it is, that, from peculiar causes, she does,
in this matter of officiating vestments, give, by her present and
already ancient provisions, a choice and an alternative. With her
eyes open, and at periods when she was most carefully scanning, for
general adoption, those provisions, has she deliberately left on
her statute-book (meaning thereby her entire range of rules), and
admitted into her practical system, two diverse rules or practices.
We may confine our attention for the moment to the period of the
latest revision of the Prayer-book in 1662. On that occasion the
Fifty-eighth Canon of 1603,--derived from certain "Advertisements"
of Elizabeth, and probably supported by the universal custom of the
realm,--was allowed to stand unaltered. This Canon provides, as
has been above mentioned, that "Every minister, saying the public
prayers, or _ministering the sacraments_, or other rites of the
Church, shall wear a decent and comely _surplice_ with sleeves;"
only with a special exception, recognised in another Canon, in the
case of Cathedrals. And yet on the same occasion was retained the
rubric of Elizabeth (1559), about "the ornaments of the Church, and
of the ministers thereof," with only such variation as fully proves
that it was not an oversight, but a deliberate perpetuation of the
law concerning _vestments_ more especially. For the previous form
of it,--dating from 1603, and but slightly altered from that of
Elizabeth,--was, that "the minister at the time of the Communion,
and at all other times in his ministrations, _shall use such
ornaments in the Church_ as were in use by authority of Parliament
in the second year of the reign of King Edward VI., according to
the Act of Parliament set in the beginning of this Book." But
the altered form was, "Such ornaments of the Church, _and of the
ministers thereof_, at all times of their ministrations, _shall
be retained, and be in use_, as were in this Church of England in
the second year," &c.; omitting only the mention of the Act of
Parliament. It will be observed, that in lieu of "ornaments of the
_Church_," which might have seemed to be irrespective of vestments,
was now substituted "ornaments of the Church, _and of the ministers_
thereof." And again, compare the words "shall be retained, and be
in use" with "shall use." In truth, the new rubric is a citation
from the Act of Elizabeth, only omitting the limitation "until such
time, &c.," and it cannot be taken as expressing less than a real
desire and earnest hope, on the part of our latest revisers, that
the original Edwardian "ornaments" might really be used; that they
should--gradually, perhaps, but really--supersede, in the case of
the Communion Service, the prevalent surplice.

If it be asked, how it came to pass that the surplice had superseded
the proper eucharistic vestments prescribed by Elizabeth's rubric?
we can only answer, that the prevailing tendency during her reign
was decidedly in favour of simpler ways in the matter of ritual;
and that, the _Second_ Book of Edward VI. (1552), having distinctly
_forbidden_ those vestments by the words, "the minister at the
time of the Communion, and at all other times of his ministration,
_shall use neither alb, vestment, nor cope_, but, being a bishop,
a rochet; and being a priest or deacon, he shall _have and wear_ a
surplice only:" the Elizabethan clergy would, owing to the reaction
after Queen Mary's reign, be inclined to recur to that position
rather than to retain the other vestments. Some, indeed, _did_
retain them, as appears by allusions to them as in use in the
beginning of Elizabeth's reign;[25] but, as a general rule, their
use was discouraged, and apparently put down. "For the disuse of
these ornaments we may thank them that came from Geneva, and, in
the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign, being set in places of
government, suffered every negligent priest to do as he listed."
(Bishop Overall.)[26]

  [25] See note M, p. 49, of Mr. Skinner's recent 'Plea for the
  threatened Ritual of the Church of England.'

  [26] Skinner, p. 48. Archbishop Grindal, and Bishop Sandys (1571-76)
  urged their destruction.

On the other hand, _one_ form of the Edwardian "Ornaments" had
survived, even through Elizabeth's reign; viz. the cope (of course
with the alb), chiefly in cathedrals. For so it is recognised in
the 24th canon of 1603. "In all cathedrals and collegiate churches
the Holy Communion shall be administered upon principal feast-days
by the Bishop, the Dean, or a Canon or Prebendary, _the principal
minister_ [_i. e._ celebrant] _using a decent cope_." This was
in accordance, as far as it went, with the original rubric of
Edward VI.'s First Book. "The priest that shall execute the holy
ministry shall put upon him ... a vestment, or _cope_." But during
the Elizabethan period two limitations had, practically, been
introduced; the _cope_, only, was used; and chiefly, though not
exclusively, in cathedral churches only.[27] However, the fact
that to this extent the rubric of Edward VI. was still acted upon,
might well encourage the revisers of 1662 to contemplate a general
return to its provisions.[28] It was but a hundred years ago that
they had fallen into desuetude; and the devout zeal of Bishop Cosin,
and others among the revisers, on behalf of the Eucharist, would
lead them to desire the restoration of whatever, in their judgment,
would tend to its higher honour and more becoming celebration.
Cosin himself was accustomed, as a Prebendary of Durham Cathedral,
to wear the cope, and to see it worn by others; and not by the
celebrant only, but by the attendant clergy. For in his answer to
the articles of impeachment sent to the House of Lords against him
in 1640, he says "That the copes used in that Church were brought
in thither long before his time. One there was that had the story
of the Passion embroidered upon it; but _the cope that he used
to wear_, when at any time he _attended the Communion Service_,
was of plain white satin only, without any embroidery upon it at
all."[29] The canon of 1603 must not, therefore, be understood
as _confining_ the use of the cope to the celebrant, but only as
providing that the celebrant, _at least_, must, in cathedrals, be
so apparelled. It may be added, that the copes still preserved in
Durham Cathedral, and only disused[30] within a century, are a proof
that, in this point at any rate, it is but very recently that the
Edwardian "ornaments" ceased to be used in the English Church in our
cathedrals; while, in a solitary instance, that of the Coronation
Service, the use of copes by the Archbishop, the attendant Bishops,
and by the Dean and Canons of Westminster, survives to the present

  [27] 1636. "Must other churches have _copes_, because such is the
  guise of cathedrals?" St. Giles' in the Fields and St. Leonard's,
  Shoreditch, are named in 1640. An Act of 1644 orders copes to be
  sold in parish churches.--(Hierurgia Anglicana, p. 164.)

  [28] It is very remarkable, on the other hand, that, as was pointed
  out in the recent debate in Convocation, Cosin, and others of the
  revisers, especially Archbishop Sheldon, still made inquiry in their
  Visitations, not as to the other vestments, but the surplice only.
  The only solution would seem to be, that, personally, they wished
  the vestments restored, but, finding no response to their wishes,
  fell into the usual track of Visitation Articles.

  [29] Life of Cosin, prefixed to his Works, in the "Anglo-Catholic"

  [30] By Bishop Warburton, it is said, circ., 1770.

The bearing of these facts upon our subject is, that they prove that
it was in no merely antiquarian spirit that our latest revisers
retained the far-famed rubric of Edward VI. It was as having been
accustomed to see a due access of honour and dignity accruing to the
Holy Rite, that they wished, not merely to retain what had survived,
in practice, of that rubric, but to restore the parts of it which
had fallen into disuse; to bring back, everywhere, with the less
correct cope, that which in the rubric enjoyed a preference--the
"vestment" or chasuble,--and whatever else the rubric involved. They
hoped that the day was come, or that it would come ere long, when
the surplice would, in respect of the Communion Service, yield to
the proper "vestment" its "ancient usual place."[31]

  [31] It is remarkable that the Canons which are contrariant to the
  Rubric have no existence in the _Irish_ Canons passed in their
  Convocation in 1634. The 7th Canon is "All ministers shall use and
  observe the orders, rites, ornaments, and ceremonies prescribed in
  the Book of Common Prayer, and in the Act of Uniformity printed
  therewith, as well in saying of Prayers as in administration of the
  Sacrament." (See Mr. Baker's letter to the 'Church Review,' March
  17, 1866). The same canon enforces the surplice and hood for deans,
  canons, &c., for Prayers, without mentioning the Holy Communion.

And the reason why they did not at the same time procure the formal
abolition of the Canon of 1603, which recognises the surplice
for parish churches, is, we can hardly doubt, that they wished
to leave the practical working out of the change to time, and to
the voluntary action of the parochial clergy. There had existed
ever since the year 1559 a diversity in practice; and, ever since
Elizabeth's "Advertisements," an actual alternative in the Church's
orders about vestments. That alternative they did not care to
remove. It was by desuetude that the irregular habit had first come
in, until it obtained recognition by the Canon of 1604: it was to
desuetude that they trusted for the removal of it. Meanwhile, those
who chose to plead usage and the canon on the one hand, and those
who preferred to plead the statute law of the Rubric on the other,
were both alike in a fairly defensible position. Two modes, in
short, of vesting the clergy for the Holy Communion were practically
recognised at the latest settlement of our Offices; and, until some
new enactment should supersede the one or the other, must continue
to be recognised still.

Such, I say, appears to be the position of the law, and of clerical
duty or obligation, at the present moment. Beyond all question, this
"Church and Realm hath received" and recognised, _practically_, an
alternative in this matter. She has not bound her sons absolutely,
and without choice, either to the older or the later practice.
Her position, as defined by the action of some of the wisest and
best of her sons on the last occasion--two hundred years ago--of
reconsidering her constitution, has been one of observation and of
hope; of waiting to see which way, in a matter non-essential, though
far from unimportant, the mind of her sons would carry her.

And now a time has arrived when the question, after slumbering for
two centuries, has awakened, and, in a practical form, demands an

Hitherto,--that is, from the time of Elizabeth (1559) until now,--no
marked desire has been manifested by the parochial clergy to carry
out the original provisions of the Prayer-book in this matter. But
now that step has--whether by more or fewer of them I stop not
now to inquire--been taken. There are churches in this land where
the long-disused "Ornaments" have been assumed. That which the
First Book of Edward handed on from the past; that which the Book
of Elizabeth restored after its repeal, taking for granted that
it would be operative, though the event proved otherwise; that
which the Revisers of 1603 did not disturb, though the Canon of
the same year authorised a departure from it; that which Cosin and
his fellow-labourers, in 1662, in language of increased strength,
directed the restoration of: this has at length come forth among us,
not in word only, but in act and visible form. And the question is,
how is the Church to deal with this fact, and this phenomenon? It is
obvious and easy to say on the one hand--"There is no doubt about
the matter. The rubric is statute law, and therefore overrides the
canon, which is not." And it is equally obvious and easy to say, on
the other hand--"There is no doubt about the matter: the usage, with
certain exceptions, of two hundred, or even three hundred years,
can be pleaded for the use of the surplice at the Holy Communion.
A rubric which has been in abeyance for that period is and ought
to be considered obsolete." A great deal may be said on behalf of
both these positions; and it is very unlikely that, debating the
matter from this point of view--_i.e._ from mere consideration of
the comparative weight of statute on the one hand, and custom on the
other,--we should ever arrive at a conclusion which would satisfy
the diversely constituted minds with which these two considerations
carry weight respectively. We must, therefore, it is submitted, take
a wider view of the question, and see whether there be not other
considerations besides these, which may lead us to a just and wise
decision about it.

And one very weighty and relevant consideration, though by no means
decisive of the whole matter, is, How far would the restoration
of these vestments--I will suppose it wisely, judiciously, and
charitably brought about--accord with the tone and feeling, either
present or growing up, of the existing English Church? Now, it must,
I think, be admitted, that the experience of the last few years is
such, as to modify very considerably the answer to be given to this
question. The Church has within that period succeeded in making
certain ritual features attractive to the people at large, to a
degree entirely unknown to her hitherto. She has developed, by care
and training, their capacities for the enjoyment of a well-conceived
ritual. And she has exhibited to them phases and modes of Service
to which they and their fathers for centuries had been strangers.
I refer especially to the great movement lately made for the
improvement of parochial music throughout the land. Indirectly
and accidentally, this movement carried with it many results of a
ritual kind. It accustomed the eyes of the generality to Services
on a scale of magnitude and dignity unknown to them before. Instead
of the single "parson and clerk," or Minister and handful of
untrained singers, they beheld, at the Festivals, choral worship,
conducted by a multitude of clergy, and by hundreds or thousands
of choristers. And they were delighted with it. The grandeur of
such a service, its correspondence to the glimpses of heavenly
worship disclosed to us by Holy Scripture,[32] forcibly impressed
the imagination, and enlisted the feelings. These occasions also
raised the question of how large bodies of persons, meeting for a
united act of musical worship, should be attired, how marshalled and
occupied, while moving into their assigned places in the Sanctuary.
Hence the surplice, the processional hymn, the banner to distinguish
the several choirs, became familiar things. They were felt to be
the natural accompaniments of such occasions. And thus was brought
to light what had hitherto been, and with great appearance of
reason, denied, viz. that this nation differs not in its mental
constitution from other nations; that its antipathy (doubtless
existing) to these things, had been founded simply on their being
unusual, and on their supposed connection with unsound doctrine.
Once the _meaning_ of them was seen--Englishmen like to know the
meaning of things--the dislike and the prejudice were overcome.

  [32] St. Luke ii. 13, Rev. vii. 9, xiv. 3. Compare 2 Chron. v. 12.

And the larger gatherings at which these things were done have
reacted upon the more limited and ordinary parochial services. Their
proper object was so to react in respect of musical proficiency
only; but they have influenced, at the same time, the whole outward
form and order of things. As one main result, they have in many
instances brought back the proper threefold action so clearly
recognised in the Prayer-book, and so long utterly lost sight of,
except in cathedral and collegiate churches, "of minister, _clerks_,
and people." The appointed medium for sustaining the clergy on the
one hand, and the congregation on the other, in the discharge of
their several parts in the service,--viz. the trained lay-clerks,
the men and boys of the practised choir,--has reappeared and
taken its due place among us. The presence of trained persons so
employed,--securing and leading, as in the Lord's Prayer, Creed,
and Versicles, the due responsive action of the people; conducting,
as in the Psalms, Canticles, and hymns, the "saying or singing;"
supporting, as in the processional Psalm of the Marriage Service, or
in the solemn anthems at the Burial of the Dead, the voice of the
minister; or, lastly, in the anthem, "in quires and places where
they sing," lifting priest and people alike by music of a higher
strain than those unskilled in music can attain to;--such ministry
is assumed by the Prayer-book to have place in every parish church
in the land. And the reducing of this theory to practice is in
reality an important step in ritual. It has enlisted the sympathies
of the laity in behalf of a fuller and richer aspect of Service than
they had heretofore been accustomed to.

In another point, too, the mental habit of this country has
undergone a change; viz. as regards the festive use and decoration
of churches. Our harvest thanksgivings, and similar occasions,
conducted as they have been, have taught those, to whom the lesson
was perfectly new, to find in the Services of the Sanctuary, in
worship, and attendance at the Holy Communion, a vent and expression
for their sense of thankfulness. At such times the flower-wreath and
the banner, the richly vested and decked altar, the Choral Service,
the processional hymn, have been felt to be in place. And thus
familiarised with them, our people come even to look for them as the
natural attendants on high days of festival.

Now it is a question at least worth asking, whether we have not here
indications of a greater disposition than we have commonly given our
people credit for, to be moved by such things--by sacred song--by
fair vestments--by processional movement--by festal decoration?
whether we have not been foregoing hitherto, to our great loss,
certain effective ways of influencing our people for good? whether
there must not, after all, be less truth than has been commonly
supposed in the received maxim, that Englishmen care nothing about
these things, nor can be brought to care for them; that they have
not in them, in short, the faculty of being affected by externals
in religious matters; that the sober Saxon spirit loves, above all
things, a simple and unadorned worship, and the like? The writer
is not ashamed to confess that he has in time past shared in this
estimate of his countrymen; but that experience has greatly shaken
his confidence in the correctness of it. And he may, therefore,
be accepted, perhaps, as a somewhat unprejudiced witness, when he
testifies to so much as has come under his own notice as to the
effect of the "ritual developments," so to call them, of which
he has above spoken. He can bear witness, then, that with these
accompaniments, the Services of the Sanctuary have become to many,
manifestly, a pleasure and a delight; that these influences are
found to touch and move, even to tears, those harder and more rugged
natures which are accessible to scarce anything else; breaking
even through the crust of formality or indifference which grows so
commonly over the heart of middle age. Is it irreverent to think
and believe that what these simple souls witness to, as their own
experience in presence of a kind of ritual new to them, though
familiar of old to their fathers, and to the Church throughout the
world, is but an anticipation of what our great poet, Puritan though
he was, has described as among the consolations of the blessed? That
which our poor peasants gratefully find provided for them on the
Church's days of festival, is no other, in its degree, than what,
to the poet's thought, awaited his Lycidas "in the blest kingdoms
meek of joy and love:"--

    "There entertain him all the saints above,
    _In solemn troops and sweet societies,
    That sing, and, singing_, in their glory _move_,
    And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes."

It will be understood that the writer is not now engaged in
advocating these particular practices as binding upon us, or even
as capable of being introduced everywhere; but only pointing out
that, in the acceptance and welcome with which this whole side of
ritual action has been received, even in unlikely quarters, we have
some indication of the probable effect on the general mind of other
well-considered ritual restorations.

And if it be still contended that the more usual condition of
the English mind is that which has been above described, viz. of
preferring a religion which reaches them mainly through the ear, and
appeals but little to the eye, I venture to suggest that--(granting
this to be so)--if a given nation is wanting in one particular
religious sense, that is the very reason why that sense should be
carefully educated. If the Italian is over-sensuous, as it would
probably be agreed that he is, in his religious constitution, he
is the very person that needs for his improvement intellectual
development. And just so, if the Englishman is, in religious
matters, unsusceptible, comparatively, of æsthetic influences, the
inference is, not that these should be carefully kept from him, but
that he should, as he is able to bear, be subjected to them.

The bearing of what has now been said upon the restoration of the
vestments and the like, is this. The most obvious objection to it
is, that the rubric in question has been in abeyance for long years,
or even centuries; and that this proves that it does not suit the
genius of the English nation. I have shown, indeed, that, as appears
from the history of the period in question,--and other evidence
might be adduced,--the rubric has not been altogether dormant in
times past. Still, the case for desuetude is a very strong one, no
doubt; and there is but one thing that could possibly invalidate
it, and that is, the existence of unmistakable indications that the
revival would, notwithstanding the long abeyance of the rubric,
meet some rising need or aspiration of the hour. If it does that,
then the negative argument, that there is no place or call for the
restoration,--that it is the mere galvanization of a dead thing,
or, at best, the summoning of it back to a life which must be
fugitive and evanescent, because there is not atmosphere for it to
breathe,--is at once done away with.

       *       *       *       *       *

But let us now briefly inquire what are the _positive_
recommendations, if any, of the eucharistic vestments which it is
proposed to restore.

In the first place, then, it is alleged, that to provide for the
Holy Eucharist special vestures _of any kind_, not only harmonizes
with the transcendent superiority of the rite itself above all
other kinds of worship, but is the proper correlative of much
that has been doing of late years in the English Church. Is it
consistent, it is asked, to give to chancel, and sacrarium, and
altar, all the chastened richness and beauty of which they are
capable, and yet to deny to the celebrant at the holy Rite all
adornment beyond surplice and stole? Even if we had never possessed
any distinct eucharistic vestments, we might well, it is said, as a
matter of consistency, introduce them.

But next, let us ask, do these particular vestments possess any
claim upon us, beyond the fact of their being different from the
ordinary surplice, and of their being prescribed in the rubric?
And here, certainly (when we come to inquire into their history)
their wonderful antiquity, universality, and probable rationale,
cannot but make a deep impression upon us. They have been so fully
described in recent publications,[33] to which the reader can refer,
that there is the less need to enter into particulars about them
here. The most interesting circumstance hitherto brought to light
respecting them, is this; that there is no reason for doubting that
they are, as to their _form_, no other than the _every-day garments
of the ancient world in East and West, such as they existed at the
time of Our Lord_, and for many ages before. Mr. Skinner has proved
this to demonstration. There was, 1st, the long and close "coat,"
"tunic," or "vesture," called from its colour (as a ministerial
garment), the "alb;" 2nd, the broad "border" of this coat, often
of the richest materials, which developed, ecclesiastically, into
the "orarium" (probably from _ora_, a border) or "stole;" 3rd,
the girdle, combining easily with the "stole;" 4th, the "garment"
or "robe" (ecclesiastically the "casula" or "chasuble"), covering
the tunic down to the knees, and so allowing the ends of the
"border" (or "stole") to appear. "Such," says Mr. Skinner, "were
the ordinary vestments in daily common use in East and West."[34]
These would be, naturally, the garments in which, like our Lord
himself, the Apostles and others would officiate at the Holy
Eucharist, and then reverence would preserve them in subsequent
ages. No other supposition can account for their universality, as
ministering garments, throughout the world. And how wonderful the
interest attaching to them, even were this all! How fitting that
the Celebrant, the representative, however unworthily, of our Lord
himself, in His most solemn Action, should be clad even as He was!

  [33] See Palmer's 'Origines Liturgicæ,' vol. ii., Appendix; the
  'Directorium Anglicanum;' Lee 'On Eucharistic Vestments;' and the
  Rev. Jas. Skinner's 'Plea for the Ritual' (Masters): but especially
  the last-named writer's most able dissertations in the 'Guardian' of
  Jan. 17 and Jan. 24, 1866; and the Dean of Westminster's speech in
  Convocation, Feb. 9, 1866.

  [34] Compare the well-known passages, "If any man will take away
  thy _cloke_ (outer robe), let him have thy _coat_ (or tunic) also."
  "Ye pull off the _robe_ with the _garment_ from them that pass by
  securely."--Micah ii. 8. "His _garments_ ... and also his _coat_ ...
  without seam, woven from the top throughout." "The _cloke_ that I
  left at Troas ... bring with thee."

But this is _not_ all. There are circumstances which this rationale
of the vestments, though correct as far as it goes, does not account

First, in the vestment-customs both of East and West there is
recognition, though in different ways, of some covering for the
_head_. In East and West a bonnet or mitre is worn by Bishops. In
celebrating, in the West, a small garment called the "amice," _of
fine white linen, with a very rich edge or fillet_, is first placed
on the head of the Celebrant, and then removed to his shoulders,
so that the _rich edge_ rests at first on the forehead, and then
appears from under the alb and chasuble.[35] Now the prayer, with
which this singular appendage is put on ("Place on my head, O Lord,
the helmet of salvation"), proves that it represents a bonnet or

  [35] 'Directorium Anglicanum,' pp. 16, 21. "The amice is an oblong
  square of fine white linen, and is put on upon the cassock or
  priest's canonical dress. It is embroidered or 'apparelled' upon
  _one_ edge. In vesting, it is placed for a moment, like a veil, upon
  the crown of the head, and then spread upon the shoulders." "The
  _apparel_ of the amice _cannot be too rich_ in its ornamentation."
  _Amice_ is the Latin _amictus_--"the covering," referring to Psalm
  cxl. 7, "Thou hast covered my head in the day of battle."

Again, the fact that the _stole_ is not a mere border, but
_detached_, both in East and West, from the tunic or alb, and in the
West, rests on the _shoulders_, is singular. In the East it is a
broad double stripe of costly silk, richly embroidered, hanging down
in front of the wearer; and often[36] _adorned with gems and gold_;
while in the West it is crossed[37] _on the breast_ in celebrating:
and throughout the East and West extraordinary importance has
from early times attached to it, it being worn in every sacred

  [36] See Neale, Introduction to 'History of Eastern Church,' vol. i.
  p. 308.

  [37] The very ancient Syriac Liturgy of St. James has the loose
  stole, as in the West, and crossed too upon the breast.--_Renaud._
  p. 15.

  [38] "In all prayers, even in those recited at home preparatory
  to the public Office, the Epitrachelion (_i.e._ stole) is
  worn."--Neale, 'Eastern Church,' p. 313. And St. Dunstan's Canons,
  A.D. 979, order "That no priest ever come within the church door, or
  into his stall, without a stole."--Hook's 'Lives of the Archbishops
  of Canterbury,' vol. i. p. 488.

Now there is but one way of accounting for these curious
arrangements. It is, that, at a very early period, the course
was adopted of assimilating the ministering vestments of the
clergy--especially in celebrating--to those of the _Jewish High
Priest_. This could with great facility be done, because these
vestments themselves were only the usual Eastern dress, glorified
and enriched, with some especial additions. There was (Exod.
xxviii.), besides the ephod, which was a rich under-garment--1.
The long "embroidered coat or tunic of fine linen" (v. 39). 2. The
"curious girdle of the ephod," which appears to have girded in both
ephod and tunic. 3. The singular combination of the _shoulder-pieces
and breastplate_, which together formed one whole, and were among
the richest and _most peculiar insignia_ of the High Priesthood:
the names of the Twelve Tribes being engraven, in the costliest
gems, both on the shoulder-pieces and breastplate, as a means of
making "memorial" of the people, with especial power, before God
(vv. 9-30). 4. The outer garment or "robe of the ephod" (v. 31), all
of blue, of circular form, with a "hole in the top of it, in the
midst thereof," to pass it over the head of the wearer; whereas the
ordinary outer garments were square, and thrown loosely on. On the
hem were pomegranates and golden bells alternating. 5. And lastly,
the "mitre of _fine linen_" (v. 39), and upon it, on the forehead,
the "plate of pure gold" (πέταλον), in virtue of which Aaron
"bore," or did away with, through his ministerial sanctity, the
imperfections of the people's offerings (v. 38).

Now here, at length, we have a _full_ account of the rationale of
the Eucharistic vestments, and specially of those parts of them
which differed from the ordinary clothing of early days. We see that
the "border" of the ordinary tunic was therefore _detached_ from
it, beautified with embroidery, and enriched with gems, because the
Aaronic shoulder-pieces and breastplate were thus detached, and were
so adorned. The Greek name for the stole is still, for priests, the
"neck-garment," for bishops, the "shoulder-piece" (omophorion).

Again, the "bonnet or mitre," or its substitute, the "amice," is
therefore of "fine linen," and has a peculiarly rich "fillet," and
must be placed upon the head for a symbol, so as to bring the fillet
upon the _forehead_, because of the wondrous power and significance
of the Aaronic "plate of gold," similarly placed.

We cannot, in short, resist the conclusion that the Church did,
at some very early period (as the universality of these things
proves), assimilate the old simple vestments, of set purpose, to
the richer and more significant Aaronic ones. And if we ask _how_
early this was done, the answer is, that the first beginnings of it
were made even in the lifetime of the Apostles. For Eusebius cites
Polycrates, Bishop of Ephesus (A.D. 198), as testifying of St.
John at Ephesus, that "as a priest he wore the πέταλον, or plate
of gold."[39] And Epiphanius[40] says the same of St. James,
Bishop of Jerusalem. Later (c. 320), Eusebius addresses the
priests as "wearing the long garment, the crown, and the priestly
robe."[41] The plate of gold, on a bonnet or mitre, is still used
at celebration by the Patriarch of Alexandria.[42] And the Armenian
Church, whose traditions, where they differ from those of the rest
of the world, are generally of immense antiquity, actually has the
_breastplate_,[43] only with the names of the Twelve Apostles,
instead of those of the Twelve Tribes.

  [39] Hist. Eccl. iii., 31: ὁς ἐγενήθη ἱερευς τὸ πέταλον πεφορεκώς.

  [40] 'De Hæresi,' 78. The very ancient Clementine Liturgy has
  "exchanging his vestment for a gorgeous one;" αμπρὰν ἐσθῆτα

  [41] ποδήρη, στέφανον, στολήν.

  [42] Neale, 'Eastern Church,' Introd., p. 313.

  [43] Ibid., p. 307.

We now see, then, how it came to pass that the stole is what it is
in East and West; why it is so highly symbolical of ministerial
power; why made so rich; why crossed on the _breast_ in celebrating;
why, with all its richness, put _under_ the chasuble: scil. because,
like the Aaronic breastplate, it was a memorial "_before God_" of
the preciousness of God's people, whom the priest bore, as he should
bear still, on his shoulder and on his heart, in his ministry of
labour and of love. We see, again, why the "apparel" of the "amice"
is so rich, because anciently of gold; why placed on the forehead,
the seat of thought, scil. that the priest may be mindful of his
"ministry of reconciliation;" and why accompanied with a prayer for
the "helmet of salvation."

And even the ordinary vestments, the surplice, and stole, and hood,
derive a clear rationale and fitness from the same source. The
_surplice_ (_superpellicium_), as Mr. Skinner teaches us,[44] is
only the close tunic or "alb," so enlarged as conveniently to cover
the _pellicium_, or coat of fur or skin which the clergy wore in the
choir. The _stole_, crossed at celebration, loses its resemblance
to the breastplate, and its allusion to the Cross, at the lower
ministry of the Ordinary Office, being worn pendent. The _hood_ is
the amice in simpler and less significant form, intended originally
to be actually worn on the head, and still capable of being so; its
varying form and colour only indicating the particular sodality to
which the wearer belongs.

  [44] Letter to the 'Guardian,' Jan. 24, 1866.

Of the cope it is needless to say more than that it is properly
processional, though recognised in the English Church (as in the
Armenian) for celebration, and for the clergy in the choir on high

It may be added that the English vestments differ sufficiently from
those of foreign Churches to have a national character.

It thus appears that the Eucharistic vestments, and even our
ordinary ones through them, are a link of a marvellously interesting
kind between us and antiquity, even Apostolic antiquity; and between
us and the whole Christian world. Nay, our vestments, like our
Services, connect us with the old Mosaic Ordinances. They ought
to be grave reasons indeed, which should induce us to raze them
from our statute-book, whatever became of the question of their
restoration to general use.

Of other usages now under debate, I would mention briefly--1. The
position of the celebrant during the office; 2. The two lights on
the altar; 3. Incense; 4. The mixed chalice; 5. The crucifix.

1. There is no real doubt whatever as to the intention of the
English Church about the position of the celebrant in administering
the Holy Communion.

In order to make the matter plain, it is to be observed, that the
slab or surface of the Altar, or Holy Table--there is a wonderful
_equableness_ in the use of the two terms by antiquity[45]--was
always conceived of as divided into _three_ portions of about equal
size. The central one, called the _media pars_, was exclusively
used for actual celebration, and often had a slab of stone[46] let
into it, called _mensa consecratoria_. The other portions were
called the _latus sinistrum_ and _dextrum_, or _Septentrionale et
Australe_.[47] These would be in English the "midst of the Altar,"
the "left or north side," and the "right or south side:" the
term "side" being used with reference to the "middle portion."
The most solemn parts of the rite, then, were performed "_at_ the
middle" of the Table; the subordinate parts "_at_ the northern or
southern portions." In all cases, "at" certainly meant with the
face turned _eastwards_. Now, in the First Book of Edward VI., it
was ordered that the very beginning of the Service should be said
"afore the _midst_ of the altar;" _i.e._ before the "media pars."
As to the rest of the Service, it was doubtless to be said in
the ancient customary places: the old rule being, that all after
the preparatory prayer to the end of the Epistle was said at the
_south_ side. In the Second Book the order was, "the Priest standing
_at_ the _North-side_ of the Table shall say the Lord's Prayer,"
&c. This could not possibly, in those days, be understood to mean
anything else than _facing the left-hand, or northern portion of
the Table_. The reason of the change to the "north-side" probably
was, 1. That permission was now given to stop short on occasion of
celebration; in which case it would hardly be seemly to stand at
the centre or consecrating portion of the Table; and perhaps, 2.
To avoid a change of position beyond the _two_ specified. But it
was doubtless intended that the centre should still be used for
actual consecration, even as it was in the First Book, though no
order was given in either case, to that effect. The order for the
"north-side" was only put in because it was a new arrangement.
And it will be observed that the term used _is_ "the North-side:"
apparently indicating that a special and well-known part of the
Table is meant. The present most incorrect practice, of standing
at the north _end_, probably arose from two causes,--first, the
infrequency of celebrations, which caused the habit to be formed of
standing somewhat northwards; while the old distinct conception of
the position had passed away: secondly, from the practice--probably
in use[48] of old in our Church--of placing the vessels and
unconsecrated elements, if there was no credence-table, on the
_non-consecrating_ part of the altar, where it was found convenient
to keep them still when consecrating. It may be questioned whether
it be not still correct, or allowable however, thus to make use of
the less important parts of the Table to serve as a Credence, if
none other is provided. But the consecration should always take
place at the middle of the Holy Table.

  [45] The Fathers generally prefer 'Altar,' the Liturgies 'Holy

  [46] Syriac Liturgy of St. James, "pars _altaris_ in quâ tabula
  defixa est;" "pars media _mensæ vitæ_."

  [47] Syriac Liturgy of St. James, Renaudot; the 'Ancient English
  and Communion Offices' (Maskell), where "cornu" is used. The Roman
  'Ritus celebrandi Missam,' 4. 4; "Thurificat _aliud latus_ altaris."

  [48] The Rubrics in the Syriac Liturgy of St. James seem plainly to
  contemplate that the vessels, &c., should be placed on the north or
  south side until consecration, since they are to be carried _from_
  the altar round the chancel, and _then_ placed on the _media pars_
  (Renaudot, p. 60, who _imagines_ a credence). And both in England
  and abroad, ancient credence-tables are very rare.

The position thus prescribed, by unbroken ancient rule, for
consecration, is by no means unimportant. By it is signified and
expressed the solemn oblation and sacrificial presentation made by
the celebrant, after the example of Christ,--leading the people,
and carrying them with him in the action. For the primitive view
of the institution, recognised in every ancient Communion Service,
is, that when Our Blessed Lord "took bread, and blessed, and brake
it," He thereby, in a deep mystery, _presented_ before God, through
the medium of the element which He had chosen, the Sacrifice of His
Body. That Sacrifice was to be consummated, indeed, on the morrow;
or by Jewish reckoning, at any rate, at a later hour on the same
day. But it was already, in a mystery, and by the yielding up His
Will, begun, and in operation. This is implied by the exact and
expressive language of the Institution--"This is my Body which is
_being_ given (διδόμενον) or broken (κλώμενον); my Blood which is
being shed, for you." Hence, too, it was that He could say of the
Bread and Wine--"This _is_ my Body, my Blood;" because these had, as
being the medium through which they were offered, been mysteriously,
as regards virtue or power, identified therewith.[49] And what the
celebrant does, at any celebration, is to imitate, in his humble
measure, and as Christ ordained, the action of Christ. In order to
this it is important, and has ever been the custom of the Church,
that he should stand at the midst of the Holy Table as one leading a
common action for all. In the East he stands eastward of the Table,
facing the people; in the West, westward of the Table, and looking
away from them: in both cases alike he is "in the midst," offering
for and with them.

  [49] See on this subject, in Appendix A, a valuable comment of the
  Bishop of Exeter on 1 Cor. xi. 24, and St. Luke xxii. 19.

In some cathedrals, as Exeter, and at Westminster Abbey, the remains
of the ancient practice are to be seen; the vessels being placed,
the offerings of the clergy made, and the Confession said, at the
middle of the Table.

2. The question of the _legal_ position of the "two lights on the
altar" is a somewhat complicated one. But in its general aspect the
usage derives a sanction and an interest from the fact that "oil for
the light" is among the things recognised in the 3rd Apostolical
Canon; and further, that the "two lights" are used in the Syriac
Liturgy of St. James[50] (from which we may have derived them
through Theodore of Tarsus): whereas all the West, except ourselves,
has seven lights. In point of effect, not much can be said for them;
but the symbolism is beautiful and interesting. The Eastern Church,
in particular, has always associated _artificial_ light--viewed as
dispelling _natural_ darkness--with our Lord's coming to the world,
as its supernatural and heavenly Light. It is well to remember,
too, that the only accompaniment of the shewbread, of which so
much has been said above, was, together with incense, _artificial
light_; and even in the blaze of heavenly ritual there were seven
lamps burning.[51] These considerations, joined to the well-known
Injunction of Edward VI., for the retention of "two lights,"
certainly give the usage a good position, when we are considering
what is the mind, fairly and liberally estimated, of the English

  [50] Renaudot, Liturgiar. Oriental. Collectio.

  [51] Rev. iv. 5. On the symbolism of candles, lit or unlit, see Dr.
  Jebb's valuable pamphlet 'Ritual Law and Custom' (Rivingtons). Notes
  F. H.

Nor is it unimportant to observe, that even the candlesticks
themselves, if in any case it is not thought well to light the
candles, possess a symbolism of their own: just as _e. g._ the
maniple of the Western Church, now disused but still worn, is a
memento of that for which (it is said) it was intended, viz. to be
used as a _sudarium_ in the labours of the priesthood. It may be
remarked, too, that in St. John's vision, what he saw was "golden
_candlesticks_" (λυχνίαι); not burning candles or lamps (λύχνοι or
λαμπάδες πυρὸς) (St. John v. 35; Rev. v. 8, viii. 3).

3. Incense, it may be observed, has precisely the same degree of
recommendation from antiquity as the "two lights." It was used with
the shewbread and the peace-offerings; it has a beautiful symbolism;
it is recognised as on a par with "oil for the lamp" in the
Apostolic Canon; and it finds a place in the heavenly ritual (Rev.
viii. 3). Its historical position with us is weaker; but _if_ used,
it would certainly be in accordance with the mind of the English
Church to use it in a very simple manner.[52] Its proper purpose is
twofold--1. To purify by its sweetness; and 2. To symbolise both the
purity of acceptable offering, and its power of ascending, through
Christ's mediation, to heaven.

  [52] "The suspension of the censer by chains, and waving it, is
  undoubtedly modern" (Skinner's 'Plea for the Ritual'). Incense
  was used in Queen Elizabeth's Chapel, and by Bishop Andrewes, and
  in many parish Churches from 1558 to 1630 at least, and in royal
  chapels till 1684, and at George III's coronation (Hierurgia
  Anglicana): also "at the altar in Ely Cathedral, at the greater
  festivals," till about 1770 (Coles' MSS. 5873 f.)

4. The question of the "mixed chalice," or of the mingling of water
with the wine in the Holy Eucharist, cannot be called one of high
importance. It has been maintained that it is one of those things
which, as having been _universal_ throughout the Church from an
early period, must be apostolic;[53] but the assertion is unfounded.
There is a very large and important branch of the Church which
does not at this day, and which, we may safely affirm, never did,
mix water with the wine, viz. the Armenian. The Armenian Church
is remarkable for the tenacity with which it has, from very early
times, in respect of things indifferent, adhered to old traditions,
when the whole of the rest of the Church have departed from them.
The introduction of the observance of Christmas-Day, for example,
took place in the East in St. Chrysostom's time, being borrowed,
as he informs us, from the West. This the Armenian Church declined
to adopt. Their vestment-traditions, again, as we have seen, are
peculiar; and they positively assert their immense antiquity.[54]
Hence it _might_ even be, that the Armenian Church had alone
preserved the apostolic usage in this matter, and that all the other
Churches had departed therefrom. However, as the term "mixture" is
applied by Justin Martyr to the cup, and as the matter is incapable
of proof one way or the other, it is best to suppose that there
were _two_ traditions or habits in the matter; and this is quite
sufficient to justify the English Church in having, as far as her
rubric is concerned, laid the usage aside in the Second Book of
Edward. At the same time, as the custom certainly survived[55] in
the English Church after the Revision, and is all but universal,
and has interesting symbolical meanings[56] attached to it, it may
well be tolerated, should a policy of toleration be adopted at this
juncture by the English Church.

  [53] See Dr. Littledale's 'Mixed Chalice,' with reference to its
  having been discountenanced by the Bishop of Exeter.

  [54] See Neale, Gen. Introduction, p. 307.

  [55] _E.g._, under Bishop Andrewes.

  [56] These vary much with different Churches,--an indication perhaps
  of the indifference of the rite. They are chiefly,--1. the union in
  Christ of the Humanity with the Divinity; 2. the pouring forth from
  His side of Blood and Water. In either sense the act may have been a
  devout afterthought; and on the whole I think it improbable that our
  Lord mixed the cup. That the Jews drank their wine mixed is not much
  to the purpose.

5. I come to speak, in the next place, of the crucifix, which is
among the "ornaments of the Church" attempted to be restored at the
present day. It is difficult, however, to conceive any two things
standing on more widely different ground than _this_, and any one
of those ornaments or usages before-mentioned. They, in every
case, whether vestments, position of the celebrant, altar-lights,
incense, or the mixed chalice, can plead immense antiquity, and all
but universality at the present day; neither are they connected
of necessity with superstitious usages. But with the crucifix,
the reverse of all this is the case. It was utterly unknown to
the Church of early days; it is unknown, strictly speaking, to
the Eastern Church; and it has given occasion in time past, as it
does at this day, to the grossest superstitions. The use of it, as
experience has proved, is in reality the merest tampering with the
principles of our nature; ever ready (as the length and vehemence
of the Second Commandment sufficiently testifies) to save ourselves
the trouble of "seeing Him who is invisible," and to fasten our
faith on some outward object instead. And there is this especial
objection to associating the crucifix with the Holy Communion more
especially, that (as was recently well observed by the Bishop of
Exeter) there are provided thereby, in dangerous rivalry, _two_
representations or "shewings forth," of the Body of Christ, and
of the Death of Christ; the one "ordained by Christ himself, as a
means whereby we receive the same;" the other, "that which our own
fingers have made," and moreover, "a fond thing vainly invented, and
grounded upon no warranty of Scripture," or of the ancient Church.
Can it be well, even supposing the usage not to result (though
full surely it _will_) in idolatrous veneration--can it be well
to divide the mind, in such an hour, between the _appointed_ mode
of contemplating, with deepest awe and love, the Mystery of our
Redemption, and another mode, which, were it never so defensible
otherwise, may not dare to lift itself into any comparison with that
far more touching exhibition of His Dying Love which Christ Himself,
at every Communion, "sets forth among us?"

I know by experience, in particular instances, that this danger
is by no means imaginary: and I confess to having the deepest
conviction of the rashness and folly of attempting to reintroduce,
even among sober Englishmen and Englishwomen--especially in
connection with the Holy Eucharist--this snare of mediæval

If it be objected that the Cross is open to the same objection, I
answer, No. The Cross, as experience proves, while it reminds us of
the Death of Christ, does not draw out that warm feeling, which is
at once so delightful and so dangerous to some classes of minds. And
the same may be said of pictorial or sculptured representations of
the entire Crucifixion, where the larger treatment of the subject
makes all the difference. It is the concentration of thought and
devotion upon the natural resemblance or representation of Christ
Himself, that renders the crucifix so dangerous, and infallibly
draws on its votaries to a breach of the Second Commandment.

Other observances must be spoken of more in the mass, as it would
be impossible to detail them severally. Suffice it to say, that
an attempt is now being made to introduce, in conjunction with
the vestments and other "ornaments" above mentioned, a _minutely
elaborated ceremonial_, applying to every part of the eucharistic

The ground taken up for this is, 1st, that "ornaments" cannot
always be very clearly distinguished from usages, and therefore
include them. But surely it is much to be remarked that the rubric
_does_ specify "ornaments," so that, although, accidentally, usages
_arising out_ of these ornaments are involved,--as, _e.g._ the
candlesticks and candles involve or suggest the lighting of the
candles,--yet the rubric cannot be taken to include usages which
stand unconnected with ornaments, such as making the sign of the
cross, or the like.

But it is contended, further, that not only are usages, as well as
"ornaments," covered (as no doubt they are to some extent) by the
rubric, but that it actually legalizes everything, whether ornament
or usage, which was in use in the twenty-fifth year of Henry VIII.
The ground for this startling assertion,--which has been made the
basis of a vast and elaborate system of ritual,[57]--is that the
second year of Edward VI. (which is named in the rubric) includes
a considerable period preceding the passing of the Prayer-book
Act. That year, it is contended, commenced on January 28th, 1548,
and extended to January 28th, 1549; so that the Prayer-book (which
was not established until January 15th, 1549, by 2 and 3 Edward
VI., c. 1) is only a _part_ of what the rubric refers to, and
merely "supplemental to the old canons and constitutions."[58] We
must accept, we are told, all that was in use by the authority of
Parliament in 1548-49. Now, the latest enactment of Parliament on
the subject, previous to that year, was the 25 Henry VIII., c. 19,
which legalizes everything then in use. So that, in short, we are,
by the rubric, thrown back upon part of the pre-Reformation period.

  [57] See 'Directorium Anglicanum,' _passim_. Mr. Perry's elaborate
  work 'Lawful Church Ornaments,' (who, however, only lays down
  certain things as permissible), and Rev. J. Skinner's 'Plea for our
  Threatened Ritual,' discuss the subject at large.

  [58] 'Directorium Anglicanum,' p. xiv.

The truer view would seem to be that what is _implied_ in the
Book, or named in it, is permissible. Certainly the Prayer-book is
elsewhere in legal documents (as my friend Mr. Shaw has shown[59])
exclusively meant when "the second year of Edward VI." is spoken of.
It may be added, that the most recent judicial decision bearing on
the point (_re_ Westerton _v._ Liddell) expressly lays down that the
Prayer-book, and the Prayer-book alone, is what the rubric refers to.

  [59] See an able article in the 'Contemporary Review,' No. 1, Jan.

But, in truth, there are other considerations which take away all
justification whatever from nine-tenths of the ceremonies which are
now being introduced among us. In the first place, a great many of
them, perhaps the greater number, are not old _English_ ceremonies
at all, but foreign ones, derived from the existing practice--not
always of very great antiquity--of the Church of Rome. Now, without
going so far as to say that those who have introduced them have
thereby incurred the pains and penalties of a _præmunire_, as
having brought in "the fashions of the Bishop of Rome, his ways
and customs," it must be plain that it is impossible to justify
such practices upon, the ground alleged. Plainly, you cannot base
foreign customs on an English rubric. The rubric legalises "such
ornaments ... as were in this CHURCH OF ENGLAND, by the authority
of Parliament, in the second year of King Edward the Sixth." And
this, we are told, includes "usages," and all usages known to the
latter part of Henry VIII.'s reign. Be it so, however vast the
concession. But will that justify a single usage which was _not_ "in
this Church of England," ever since it was a Church at all? Is it
not plain that, so far forth as the ceremonies now introduced _never
were English_ ceremonies, they break the very rubric to which they
appeal? Now it is notorious that a great part of these ceremonies
are brought in on the authority of a work frequently referred to
in these pages, called 'Directorium Anglicanum.' And in that work
the _modern Roman_ usages, to the disregard of the ancient English,
and often in direct contravention of them, are to a very great
extent recommended. I will take but a single instance,--the very
first direction in the book as to the "Order of Administration,"
p. 23. It concerns the colours for the vestments;--not a matter of
the first importance, it may be. But so it is, that the _Roman_
colours are prescribed in the text, and the English ones merely
mentioned in a note. And this is but one instance, out of a vast
number, of the entire untrustworthiness of that work as a guide
to the ancient _English_ usages. Under the delusive title of
'Directorium _Anglicanum_,' it has presented to the unwary student
of ritual, mixed up with our own usages of old time, the most recent
_Roman_ ones. It may be hoped that this fact, when pointed out to
such of our brethren as have been misled by that learned but most
unjustifiable publication, will induce them to modify their present

"But," it will be contended, "surely we may claim to reintroduce all
ancient _English_ ceremonies; such as elevating the Elements after
consecration; making the sign of the cross in consecrating, and
again over the head of each communicant before administering;--or
such, again, as frequent bowing and genuflection;--various regulated
movements to and fro,--as at the saying of the Creed;--swinging of
censers again and again in various directions; with many other
ceremonies." To all this, however, there is an answer which, I
humbly conceive, is unanswerable. It is this,--that the English
Church, to whose laws they appeal, has _expressly abolished_ some of
these ceremonies, and laid her prohibition upon the use of more than
a very moderate number of any kind.

I refer, first, to the fact that she withdrew from her Service-book
certain orders previously embodied in it for the performance of
some of these actions. Under this head comes the elevation of the
Elements after consecration. This is confessedly, even by the
admission of Roman writers, a modern ceremony, not older than the
twelfth century.[60] However, in the old English Service-books the
order was, "After the words, 'For this is my Body,' the priest shall
bend himself towards the Host, and afterwards lift it above his
forehead, that it may be seen by the people." But in the Communion
Office of 1549, this was forbidden by rubric, "These words are to
be said without any elevation, or shewing to the people." And the
Articles of 1562-1571 confirm this, saying, that "the sacrament
was not by Christ's ordinance lifted up or worshipped" (Art. 28).
So, again, the sign of the cross was, according to the First Book
of Edward, to be used at consecration; but in the Second it was
withdrawn. Nor, I believe, can any rehabilitation of these practices
be alleged (as can be done in the case of lights or incense) from
subsequent injunctions, canons, or customs. It is in vain to say
that there was anything accidental in the omission of the cross
at consecration, since it was carefully retained at baptism, and
defended subsequently in the canons of 1603; or that the "elevation"
or lifting up, "and worshipping," was restored by the omission of
the prohibition in 1549, since by 1562 (Articles) it was expressly
disallowed. Those who plead, as a support to the rubric, the better
mind of the Church, as manifested in the wishes of her great
men--her Andreweses and Cosins--and even in her canons of 1603--must
accept the fact, that by that better mind and those canons these
usages are never advocated.

  [60] See Mabillon, Iter. Ital., p. xlix., and 'Principles of Divine
  Service,' Introd. vol. ii. p. 87. A slight raising of the Elements
  at the words 'He blessed,' as if making an offering, is ancient and
  probably universal.

Again, as to the _number_ of ceremonies. The Preface entitled
'Ceremonies; why some be abolished, and some retained,' prefixed
to the First Book of Edward, distinctly announces a new state
of things in this respect. The "excessive multitude" of them is
complained of; and it is clearly implied that those which remain
are few and simple. The only question, in short, is, how many
were left. The allegation that _none_ are abolished is simply and
utterly untenable. And we have this general principle laid down by
that Preface for our guidance, that excess of ceremonies, or any
great multiplying of them, such as now recommended, is absolutely
irreconcilable with the mind of our Church.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the whole, then, to conclude this part of my subject, there
ought to be no real difficulty among us as to what is fairly
permissible, and answers to the mind of the English Church--taking
a wide and liberal view of that mind--in the matter of ritual. Two
leading conceptions, NOBLENESS with SIMPLICITY, sum up her general
desires on this subject. In the due observance of these, it is her
deliberate judgment, (as represented by her wisest sons,--as Ridley,
Andrewes, Overall, Cosin), will be found the best security for
_worthy_ worship on the one hand, and for _devout_ worship on the

And when we come to the carrying out of these conceptions there are
yet other two principles by which she is guided, viz. regard for
primitive usage; and yet, again, forbearance from pressing even
such usage in particular instances where it is likely to do more
harm than good. And all along she supremely tenders that purity of
Apostolic _doctrine_, which is dearer to her than life itself, and
by its bearing upon which every rite or ceremony must ultimately be

From antiquity accordingly, as has been shown above, she has
derived, together with her pure doctrine, "her beautiful garments:"
alike her surplice, stole, and hood, and her chasuble, alb, and
amice. Yet, as regards the obligatory adoption of these, she
has, with a grand charity, more beautiful than the richest of
the garments themselves, forborne, for 300 years, to press upon
an imperfectly trained people those which, in the judgment of
her most learned and primitively-minded sons, best beseemed that
high Ordinance. And even now, albeit she has done much towards
training this nation in loftier conceptions of what is seemly in
the matter of ritual; although she has reawakened the appreciation
of music and architecture, of colour and carving, of festival
decoration and choral worship; though she has, especially by the
superior costliness and beauty lavished on the sacrarium and the
altar, by increased care and reverence in administration of the
Holy Eucharist, lifted that ordinance into something more of its
due pre-eminence over all other Service; though many subordinate
considerations point in the way of analogy and proportion, in the
same directions; though every step by which she has enriched her
_ordinary_ worship,--such as the bringing back, within a very
few years, of stole and hood for the clergy, and of surplices
for the lay members of the choir--though this all but demands
some _different_ vestments, at the least, for the celebrant and
assistants at the Holy Communion: _nevertheless_, she will not, if
she is well-advised, withdraw or disallow that wise alternative
which has practically existed all along in this matter, but still
let surplice and vestment stand side by side for the option of
the clergy and people. Nor yet again, on the other hand, strong
as is the simpler surplice in its prescription--not, however,
unvarying--of 300 years, as a eucharistic vestment in the English
Church--in its purity of appearance and gracefulness of form--and
in the associations and affections of this generation;--simpler
and easier as it is to side with the greater number, and to
acquiesce in the less excellent way for the sake of peace:--the
Church will not, if well-advised, yield to these considerations
either. She will still leave on her statute-book that ancient
direction concerning vestments which has been her primary law
through the vicissitudes of 300 years; which connects her, even
in its abeyance, with the Apostolic Church of old, and with the
Church universal now; and which may, if wisely and charitably
administered, effectively co-operate in bringing back to the Church
of God her lost jewel--nowhere now to be found on earth--of full and
thorough conformity, in doctrine and worship, with the Apostolic and
Primitive Church.

And as regards other ceremonies, while she expects not, nor desires,
a rigid uniformity in minor actions, nor has laid down any such
code for the observance of her ministers; she will on the one hand
seek to realise a higher standard, in point of care and reverence,
than has hitherto, perhaps, prevailed among us: but, on the other,
she will continue her 300 years' protest against multitudinous and
operose ceremonies, as being full surely destructive, in the long
run, of the life of devotion.

I have now accomplished, though in a very imperfect manner, my
self-imposed task: dwelling, in all humility and anxiety, on our
shortcomings and excesses, as well in the matter of Rites and
Doctrine, as in that of Ritual.

And if it be asked, in conclusion, What then is to be done? what
_action_ does a view of the whole circumstances prompt? or how are
we to win our way back, under God, to a more perfect model? my
answer and my humble counsel would be as follows:--

Let me first be permitted to remind the reader of the present aspect
of our Church, such as it was presented to view in an earlier page.
Let it be remembered and taken home as an anxious and alarming
truth, that were an Apostle, or a Christian of early days, to "pass
through" the land and "behold our devotions," on our high day of
Service, during three-fourths of the year, he could arrive at no
other conclusion, from what he saw with his eyes, than that he was
_not in a Christian land at all_. For he would miss, Sunday after
Sunday, in more than eleven thousand of our churches, the one badge,
and symbol, and bond of membership in Christ, the Holy Eucharist.
Such a one could not possibly understand our Christianity; the
land would be in his eyes an absolute desolation. And if among
these thousands of altars without a sacrifice, and of Christian
congregations failing to offer the one supremely ordained Christian
worship, he chanced here and there to light upon a happy exception,
how would his eyes still be grieved, and his heart pained at the
fewness of communicants! He could only conclude that Christianity
had very recently been established here, and that the number of the
unbaptized and catechumens was still tenfold that of the faithful.
But there would be yet one other novel sight that would here and
there present itself to him. He would perceive with astonishment
that, in some instances, the eucharistic worship was offered not to
"Our Father which is in Heaven," or to Christ, as seated with His
Father on His Throne of Glory; but as contained in the Elements. But
his astonishment would reach its height when he observed, further,
that not much account was made, at this Service, of the _reception_
of the life-giving Sacrament, as the crowning and supreme
circumstance of the offering; but that it was rather discouraged, in
proportion as the Service was designed to be of a loftier strain,
and a superior acceptableness.

Is it too much to say that, on view of these things--these vast
deflections on the right hand and on the left, in defect and in
excess, from Apostolic ways--it would not much grieve or move such
an one as I am supposing, whether the "vestment" in which the
Service was offered was merely of "fine linen, pure and white," or
"a vesture of gold, wrought about with divers colours;" and that all
other ritual arrangements, in like manner, would be as nothing in
his eyes, in comparison of the truths obscured or imperilled, and of
the errors involved, on either hand?

And what therefore I would earnestly desire that the Church of
God in this land might draw forth from the present excitement and
anxiety about ritual is, a faithful comparison of herself, in point
of doctrine and practice, with the Apostolic and Primitive model.
There are greater things than these; "The life is more than meat,
and the body than raiment." And while we are anxiously discussing
whether the life of eucharistic devotion is best fed through the eye
or the ear, or how its outward form should be arrayed, it is only
too sadly true, that that life and that body are a prey to divers
diseases, and need medicine and restoratives, ere they are likely to
exhibit much real vigour, nourish and clothe them as we will.

For the second time within our memory, a "vestment" or "ritual"
controversy has arisen among us. The last time it was about "the
surplice" in preaching, as against the gown; and the "Prayer for the
Church Militant," as against the disuse of it. This time it is about
the more distinctive eucharistic vestments, as against the surplice;
and about a fuller ritual as against a scantier one. Now the last
contest was simply a miserable one. I venture to call it so, 1st,
because, handled as it was, there was no sort of principle at stake
in it, beyond that of assigning to the sermon more nearly its due
position and estimate in the rite; and that of adding one more
prayer--a touching and valuable one, it is true--to the ordinary
Office;--and next, because it utterly misconceived and missed the
Church's real mind, in allowing such a thing at all as prayers, or a
service at the Altar or Holy Table, when there was to be no Offering
and no Communion. To restore the Prayer for the Church Militant, and
be content with that, was indeed "to keep the word of promise to her
ear, and break it to her hopes." Only as a protest, only as a badge
of her rejection--ay, and of CHRIST'S rejection by the world--had
she ever condescended to such a Lord's Day Service as that at all.

What was the result and upshot, as might have been expected, of that
contest? In the case of some parishes, and almost whole dioceses,
successful rebellion against even the letter of the rubric; and in
places where the result was different, a contented acquiescence ever
since (for the most part) in the victory achieved. Is it not evident
that it was not worth achieving? And why? Because all the while
the Church's real desire and aim was ignored; she was not one whit
nearer to the Apostolic rule, but only proclaimed more distinctly
her departure from it.

And now that another "vestment" and "ritual" controversy has arisen,
the great anxiety, and the only _deep_ anxiety, of the Church should
be, that it too pass not over us barren of all results of value. It
will do so, if it only leaves us with a better ascertained law as to
the relative obligation of this or that vestment, the lawfulness of
this or that mode of ritual. It will have been in vain, unless it
brings _up_ our long-standing neglect on the one hand, and brings
_back_ our more novel excesses on the other, to the true standard of
God's own providing. But on the other hand, if haply, while we are
searching for a rule, we shall have found a principle, and begun to
act upon it then the present excitement will have done a great work
for us.

And happily, it is by thus lifting the existing controversy into
a higher sphere, we shall have the best chance of reconciling and
harmonising positions now ranged over against each other, and even
of solving this ritual and vestment difficulty. For let us suppose,
on the one side--what it is not too much to hope for--that the
close sifting, both of doctrine and ritual, which such a period as
this gives rise to, joined to the fatherly counsel of the Bishops,
and to considerations of Christian wisdom and charity, should
avail to remove such peculiarities of ritual as are plainly either
indefensible or inexpedient. And let us suppose, on the other
side--what surely we may no less hope for--an earnest effort now
made by the clergy, encouraged by their bishops, to return to the
Apostolic usage of Weekly Celebration, and in other ways to give due
honour and observance to the Holy Eucharist. Suppose this done on
either side: and there would at once result a great and essential
_rapprochement_ between those who now have the appearance of raising
opposite cries, and wearing rival badges.

Nor only so, but those badges themselves would lose, to a great
extent, their distinctive hues. It is astonishing, when we come
to look into the matter, how much the two rival camps, so to call
them, have in common; and how many middle terms there are on which
they are agreed. The truth is that, as has appeared above, there
is between the vestments (for example), now opposed to each other,
an entire "solidarity" or community of interests, arising out of
their common origin, and their close relation to each other. The use
of the surplice, its existence at all as a ministerial vestment,
and its real significance, can only be traced in the eucharistic
vestments. It results from removing the chasuble and expanding the
alb. The surplice is in fact, an alb. It is an adaptation of the
inner eucharistic vestment to the exigencies of the ordinary Office.
It was thought good, when it was used as an outer garment, to give
it that fulness and comeliness of form, for which the _English_
surplice, more especially, is so justly commended. But its real
value, as a memento of the inward purity which it typifies, can only
be apprehended by bearing in mind that it is properly an _inner_
garment.--In like manner the stole, taken by itself, is a mere band
of ribbon of no particular appropriateness. But let it symbolise, as
it certainly was meant to do, the yoke of loving labour laid on the
neck of the minister of Christ; or, more exactly, after the Aaronic
pattern, the ministerial toil of heart and hand for Christ's people,
and the mindful bearing of them before God for acceptance through
the One Sacrifice; and we at once see that this simple vestment
is indeed worth preserving.--And let the hood, or "amice," be no
longer worn as a mere badge of academical degree, but as a token of
the dedication of the powers of the head or intellect, and of the
need of God's protection against "vain, perverse, and unbecoming
thoughts;"[61] and this, too, acquires a fitness otherwise difficult
to recognise. Now, if we thus owe to the full eucharistic vestments
the interpretation of our ordinary ones, it is plain that the
relations between the two are of the most friendly character.

  [61] Oratio dicenda ante Divinum Officium. Portiforium Sarisb.

The stole, it may be added, _rests solely on the rubric of_ 1662: so
that, whereas it is commonly imagined that the vestments of Edward
VI. have now begun for the first time to be re-introduced, and that
by a very few; the truth is that the vast majority of the English
clergy have now for many years, though unconsciously, been acting
upon the rubric which enjoins them, and tacitly appealing to it.

So, again, the introduction of colour into our vestments is only one
step added to what has been already carried out, to a great extent,
by all of us, in the rest of our sacred accessories, whether in the
way of stained glass, altar-cloths, hangings, or even of books. And
whereas, on the other hand, the pure whiteness of the surplice is
not among the least of its attractions and sacred associations in
English eyes; who, it may be asked, have done more to extend the
use of the surplice among us, than those who have advanced farthest
in the ritual direction? Who eliminated the "black gown" from the
eucharistic rite? Who else have flooded our choirs and aisles, on
festal occasions especially, with the white robes of choristers
and clergy? Nay, for the Holy Communion itself, for the highest
festivals--Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide--the _white_ chasuble is,
by the ancient rule of England, added to the white alb. Surely here,
again, there is a community of sentiment between ritual schools
thought to be opposed to each other. It may be added, that though
the strict English rule, or rather its _full_ carrying out, would
necessitate colour--red for the most part--for the chief eucharistic
vestment, this is not by any means of necessity. White, it is
admitted on all hands, is permissible all the year round,[62] and
some Eastern churches never use any other colour.

  [62] 'Directorium Anglicanum,' p. 17: "It is perfectly
  unobjectionable to have the sacred vestments of fair white linen, so
  long as the shape of them be correct."

And do we not seem to see, in these considerations, joined to others
alleged above, a ground for harmonious though diverse action among
those of differing minds? We have, as the first and leading fact,
that (if the view taken above be correct) none is compelled _in foro
conscientiæ_, by the existing state of the law to which he has bound
himself (viz. "what this Church and Realm hath received") to adopt
the ancient vestments. This gives room for the exercise of that
prudent consideration in the matter, which would be out of place if
the law gave no alternative.

We have next the fact that there are degrees, even where it is
desired to return to the ancient system. The _form_ is, as it should
seem, the great matter, both as regards symbolism, and as making a
distinct difference between the ordinary and the eucharistic dress:
the material and colour are secondary. Hence arises a simple and
unobtrusive mode of resuming the old distinction, without risk of
provoking serious objection: eucharistic vestments of fine linen
being not very strikingly different in appearance from the surplice;
more especially if, as some hold, surplices in place of tunics be
allowable for the assistant clergy.

And if many still entertain a distinct preference for the surplice,
none can say that, after 300 years of recognition, it is other than
a seemly and honourable vestment, as an _ad interim_, even for the
Holy Communion. In one case only can it be said to be a dishonour,
and a badge of servitude under the world's rejection,--viz.,
whenever there is no celebration. It can then only be compared
to the linen garment in which the Jewish High Priest was clothed
of old on the one day of Atonement:--the one day in the year on
which Israel mourned over suspended privileges and a desolated
Altar.[63] It is when the surplice ministers to so dreary a Service
as that:--when, as a fit accompaniment to it, the position of the
wearer, at the north _end_ of the Holy Table, indicates at least a
forgetfulness of his priestly functions:--it is then only that it
can be otherwise than honourable among us.

  [63] Leviticus xvi. 4.

Nor in like manner, as has appeared above from the venerable,
because primitive and apostolic descent of the eucharistic
vestments, can any tinge of superstition or unsound doctrine be
properly ascribed to them, unless it be through the fault of any in
whose persons they minister to eucharistic doctrines and practices,
which were unknown to Apostolic and primitive days.

And there is yet one other hopeful feature in the present aspect
of things as regards Ritual. It is that, taking the long tract of
years, the desire for an improvement, and for our acting up to the
theory and ideal of our Church in this matter, has begun, as it
ought, with the Episcopate: so that all present endeavours in that
direction, (whether in all respects wisely or faithfully made I have
given some reasons for doubting), are intended at least to be a
carrying out of their fatherly counsels and admonitions. It is now
a quarter of a century since two of the ablest and most influential
Prelates that ever sat on an episcopal throne in England, the late
Bishop of London and the present Bishop of Exeter, invited the
Clergy of their Dioceses to carry out the rubrics, with especial
reference to a particular rubric bearing upon the dress of the
Clergy in one part of their ministrations. It was found impossible
at the time, owing to a strong feeling on the part of the laity
(which time has for the most part removed), to carry out those
injunctions. But their tones have vibrated ever since in the hearts
of the English Clergy. It was felt at the time, as it must ever be
felt, that our _aim_, at least, should be to carry out the Church's
best and deepest mind, and not to acquiesce for generations in a
low standard, merely because it is the existing one. And it is my
humble belief that, had the present attempt to return, in fuller
measure, to her deep and wise rules for eucharistic celebration been
made with more of moderation and considerateness, it would have
carried with it, (and may carry with it yet, if these conditions
be fulfilled), the assent of our Right Reverend Fathers[64] in
God on the one hand, and of our congregations on the other. So
managed, the present might well become a grand and harmonious
movement of Bishops, Clergy, and people towards a noble result,--the
setting up, namely, in its due place, of the highest ordinance of
the Gospel: with variations, indeed, in many respects, as to the
mode and fashion of administration; but with one happy feature at
any rate,--a nearer approximation, both in Rites and Ritual, to
Apostolic Doctrine and Worship.

  [64] See the Bishop of Oxford's opinion, delivered in Convocation.


In revising the above pages for a Fourth Edition, I have corrected
the statement made by me in page 40, as to the doctrine maintained
by Archdeacon Denison; and I desire to repeat here the expression of
regret, which I have already made public through another channel, at
having misrepresented his view. A correspondence between us, since
published by him (Rivington's), will explain more fully the state
of the case. It may suffice to repeat here, that the exact position
taken up by him in 1856, as regards the points under discussion, is
expressed in the two following propositions:

  Proposition III.--

     "That The Body and Blood of Christ, being present naturally in
     Heaven, are, supernaturally and invisibly, but Really, Present
     in the Lord's Supper, through the elements, by virtue of the act
     of consecration."

  Proposition VIII.--

     "That worship is due to The Body and Blood of Christ,
     supernaturally and invisibly, but Really Present in the Lord's
     Supper, 'under the form of Bread and Wine,'[65] by reason of
     that Godhead with which they are personally united. But that
     the elements through which 'The Body and Blood of Christ' are
     given and received may not be worshipped."

  [65] End of the 1st Book of Homilies.

With respect to the presence of non-communicants at the Holy
Eucharist, I had of course seen such publications as have appeared
in defence of the practice. But they fail altogether in the
essential point, which is, to show that antiquity viewed the
presence of such in any other light than either--1. As an utter
carelessness and irreverence; or 2. as befitting _penitents_, and
them only. The mediæval doctrine and practice, now being revived by
some, is that it is a good and laudable habit for Christian persons
in a state of grace to come to the Holy Communion, and to decline
receiving it.

I have to acknowledge many communications on various points; of
which I have to some extent availed myself in this edition.



Having had occasion to receive from the Bishop of Exeter an
expression of his views on the subjects discussed in pp. 31-37, I
asked and obtained permission to embody it in an Appendix, as his
latest and most matured judgment on the matter to which it relates.

The Bishop says:--"I regard the Grace of the Eucharist as the
Communion of the Death and Sufferings of our Lord. St. Paul (1 Cor.
xi. 24), in his statement of the Revelation made to him from Christ,
sitting at the Right Hand of GOD the Father, seems to me distinctly
to affirm this Truth.

"His words τὸ κλώμενον (they should be rendered "which is _being_
broken"), in their literal and plain signification, show that the
Lord's Death is one continuous Fact, which lasts and will last till
he comes and lays down His Mediatorial Kingdom, subjecting it, and
Himself, its King, to the Father.

"I hold that it is, in short, a Sacrament of that continuous Act
of our Lord's Suffering once for us on the Cross--the punishment
appointed for sin during the days of His Mediation--that our Lord
is, in some ineffable manner, present in the Sacrament of His
Sufferings, thus communicated to us, by which He pays for us the
penalty imposed on our guilt. In such a Presence I do not recognise
anything material or local, though I most thankfully rejoice in it
as _real_."

Next as to the point dwelt upon in pp. 66-70, as seeming to
prescribe, and to render important, the position of the Celebrant
at the Holy Communion: viz. that our Lord's having "given" or
"presented" in a mystery, through the Elements, the Sacrifice of
His Body and Blood, is the whole secret of their consecration to
_be_ that which they represent: and that we, too, must "give,"
"present," or "offer," the Elements with the same intention, if we
would effectually plead the Sacrifice, and receive the Sacrament:--

The Bishop of Exeter, still commenting on 1 Cor. xi. 24, compared
with St. Luke xxii. 19, speaks as follows:--

"The use of the present participle in these cases, seems to me to
show, that the words ought to be rendered 'which is _being_ given,'
and 'which is being broken,' and must be referred to the Act of
Crucifixion. The words, thus understood, seem to me to illustrate
and to be illustrated by Gal. ii. 20. 'I am crucified with
Christ [lit., I have been, and continue to be, crucified with
Him--συνεσταύρωμαι], and the life which I now live, I live by the
faith of the Son of God, who loved me, _and gave Himself for me_.'
[Comp. 'This is my Body which is _being given for you_.']

"And again, Gal. iii. 1, 'Before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been
evidently set forth crucified among you.' I know not where it is
said or implied that we are crucified together with Christ, unless
in thus feeding on, and receiving, and partaking of the Dying of
Christ, and the showing forth of His Death, as oft as we eat and
drink the Body _being_ broken and the Blood _being_ shed."

Again the Bishop, as regards the Roman Doctrines of
Transubstantiation and Concomitancy, quotes, as in entire accordance
with his own, the following sentiments of the Rev. C. Smith, Rector
of Newton, Suffolk, and author of the valuable work, 'An Enquiry
into Catholick Truths, hidden under certain Articles of the Creed
of the Church of Rome:'--"This is a great mystery; but we must
not forget that it is the Lord; and, instead of pretending to
explain _how_ it is our Lord feeds us on this most real Sacrifice,
and _how_ He can give us, now he is glorified, His own Body and
Blood separately, let us rejoice that he nourishes and cherishes
His purchased Church by the 'still unconsumed sacrifice (as St.
Chrysostom calls it) of Himself.' How mean and impertinent are
Transubstantiation and Concomitancy, and the Impanation and
Invination of Rome and her followers!"



The following well-known opinion was delivered by the Bishop of
Exeter many years since. As such it is simply recorded here, not as
involving its author in the present controversy on this subject.

"The rubric, at the commencement of 'The Order for Morning and
Evening Prayer,' says '_That such ornaments of the church, and of
the ministers thereof, at all times of their ministration, shall be
retained, and be in use, as were in this Church of England by the
authority of Parliament, in the second year of the reign of King
Edward VI._'--in other words, a white alb plain, with a vestment
or cope. These were forbidden in King Edward VI.'s Second Book.
This was a triumph of the party most opposed to the Church of Rome,
and most anxious to carry reformation to the very farthest point.
But their triumph was brief--within a few months Mary restored
Popery; and when the accession of Queen Elizabeth brought back
the Reformation, _she, and the Convocation, and the Parliament,
deliberately rejected_ the simpler direction of Edward's Second
Book, and _revived the ornaments of the First_. This decision was
followed again by the Crown, Convocation, and Parliament, at the
restoration of Charles II., when the existing Act of Uniformity
established the Book of Common Prayer, with its rubrics, in the form
in which they now stand.

"Strange indeed is it that in the very teeth of this plain and
evident intention of the Reformers and Revisers of the Prayer-book,
there should be English Churchmen and Clergy, so forgetful of the
duty they owe the Church, that they are trying with all their
power to provoke Parliament to do an unjust and unconstitutional
act, by attempting to set aside this law of the Church, which has
the sanction of the _three_ Estates of the Realm: and can only be
altered by their concurrence.

"From this statement it will be seen, that the surplice may be
objected to with some reason; but then it must be because the law
requires 'the alb, and the vestment, or the cope.'

"Why have these been disused? Because the parishioners--that is,
the churchwardens, who represent the parishioners--have neglected
their duty to provide them; for such is the duty of the parishioners
by the plain and express canon law of England (Gibson 200). True,
it would be a very costly duty, and for that reason most probably,
churchwardens have neglected it, and archdeacons have connived at
the neglect. I have no wish that it should be otherwise. But, be
this as it may, if the churchwardens of Helston shall perform this
duty, at the charge of the parish, providing an alb, a vestment, and
a cope, as they might in strictness be required to do (Gibson, 201),
_I shall enjoin the minister, be he who he may, to use them_. But
until these ornaments are provided by the parishioners, it is the
duty of the minister to use the garment actually provided by them
for him, which is the surplice. The parishioners never provide a
gown, nor, if they did, would he have a right to wear it in any part
of his ministrations. For the gown is nowhere mentioned nor alluded
to in any of the rubrics. Neither is it included, as the alb, the
cope, and _three_ surplices expressly are, among 'the furniture
and ornaments proper for Divine Service,' to be provided by the
parishioners of every parish.

"The 58th canon of 1604 (which however cannot control the Act of
Uniformity of 1662) enjoins that 'every minister, saying the public
prayers, or ministering the sacraments or other rites of the Church,
shall wear a decent and comely surplice with sleeves, &c., to be
provided at the charge of the parish.' For the things required for
the common prayer of the parish were and are to be provided by the
parish. If a gown were required, it would have to be provided by the




     With regard to the question which you ask respecting the mode
     of performing Divine Service, it appears to me evident that
     it never entered into the heads of those who undertook, in
     the 16th century, the great work of remodelling, translating,
     simplifying, congregationalising (to use a barbarous word) the
     old Sarum Offices, and recasting them into the abbreviated form
     of our Matins and Evensong, to interfere with the universally
     received _method of reciting_ those Offices. It is quite certain
     that they never dreamed of so great an innovation in immemorial
     usage. Their object was merely to simplify the old Ritual music.
     It had become so tedious and ornate, that it was impossible
     for the people to join in _their_ part; and the priest's part
     was rendered unintelligible by means of the wearisome "neumas"
     and flourishes, which had little by little crept in, to the
     utter ruin of the staid solemnity of the ancient Plain Song. So
     the great business was to make the _priest's_ part devout and
     _intelligible_, and the _people's_ simple and _congregational_.

     The first part of our Prayer-book which came out was the
     _Litany_. But it came out _with_ its beautiful and simple Ritual
     _Music_. It was thus _originally intended_ to be _sung_; but
     to music so plain and straightforward that a child may join in
     it. (It is the same melody as is still generally used for the
     Litany.) _Only_ the melody was published at first; no harmony:
     therefore it would be sung in unison.

     But a month afterwards a _harmonised_ edition was published for
     the benefit of those choirs which were more skilled in music. It
     was set in five-part harmony, according to the notes used in the
     "Kynge's Chapel." Tallis's more elaborate version was published
     twenty years afterwards.

     But this English Litany was harmonised over and over again in
     different ways, by different composers; the very variety of
     setting incidentally proving how very general its musical use
     had become.

     It was in the following year (1545) that Cranmer wrote his
     well-known letter to Henry respecting the "Processions" and
     Litany Services, which it was in contemplation to set forth in
     English for festival days; requesting that "some devout and
     solemn _note_ be made thereto," similar to that of the published
     Litany: "that it may the better excitate and stir the hearts of
     all men to devotion and godliness:" the Archbishop adding that,
     in his opinion, "the song made thereto should not be full of
     notes, but as near as may be for every syllable a note."

     Four years after came out Edward's First Prayer-book, and almost
     simultaneously with it (at least within the year) the _musical
     notation_ of the book, published "cum Privilegio," and edited by
     John Merbecke.

     There seems no doubt in the world that this book was
     edited under Cranmer's supervision; and was intended as a
     quasi-authoritative interpretation of the musical rubrics.

     The old ritual words, "legere," "dicere," "cantare," continue
     in the reformed, just as of old in the unreformed rubrics. They
     had a definite meaning in the Latin Service Books. There is not
     a vestige of a hint that they are to have any other than their
     old meaning in the vernacular and remodelled Offices. They are
     often loosely used as almost convertible expressions. "Dicere"
     rather expresses the simpler; "cantare," the more _ornate_ mode
     of musical reading. The word "legere" simply denoted "recitation
     from a book," without any reference to the particular _mode_ of
     the recitation. Applied to the Gospel in the old rubrics, it
     would simply express that the Gospel was to be here "recited,"
     according to the accustomed "Cantus Evangelii." The same
     with other parts of the service. As "legere" did not signify
     _non_-musical recitation in the old rubrics, so neither does it
     in the revised. In fact, in two or three instances, it is used
     avowedly as synonymous with "say or sing,"--_e. g._ in the cases
     both of the "Venite" and the Athanasian Creed. These of course
     are definitely ordered to be "said" or "sung,"--_i. e._ "said"
     on the monotone, or "sung" to the regular chant.

     But yet in two rubrics which merely deal with the _position
     where_, on certain particular occasions, they are to be
     recited (the rubrics _not_ adverting to the _mode_ of their
     recitation), the general term "read" is applied to them--"The
     Venite shall be _read_ here."

     Now, as the _rubrical directions_ respecting the performance
     of the Services are virtually the same in the old and the new
     Office, so is the _music itself_ as given in Merbecke. His book
     is nothing more than an adaptation, in a _very_ simplified form,
     of the old Latin Ritual Song to our English Service. Cranmer's
     Rule is rigidly followed--"as near as may be, for every syllable
     a note."

     The Priest's part throughout is very little inflected. Even the
     'Sursum Corda' and 'Proper Preface' in the Communion Offices are
     plain monotone; as well (of course) as all the Prayers.

     But the Introit, Offertory Sentences, Post Communion,
     Pater-noster, Sanctus, Agnus-Dei, Credo, 'Gloria in Excelsis,'
     in most of which the people would be expected to join, are all
     inflected, though the music is plain and simple.

     That there was not even the _remotest_ intention of doing
     away with the immemorial practice of the Church of God (alike
     in Jewish as in Christian times), of employing some mode of
     solemn Musical Recitation for the saying of the Divine Offices,
     is further evident by the rubric relating to the Lessons. Of
     course, _if_, in _any_ part of the Services, the ordinary
     colloquial tone of voice should be employed, it plainly ought to
     be in the Lessons.

     But not even here was such an innovation contemplated.

     The ancient "Capitula" were much inflected. The Cantus Evangelii
     and Epistolarum admitted likewise of a great and wearisome
     licence of inflection. Now it would have been absurd to inflect
     a long English lesson. The Rubric, therefore, ordered that the
     Lessons should be said to _un_inflected song.

     "In such places where they do sing, then shall the Lesson be
     _sung_ in a _plain tune_ after the manner of _distinct_ reading"
     (_i.e._ recitation); in other words, the "Lessons, Epistle, and
     Gospel," were to be all alike said in _monotone_.

     You are aware, of course, that it was not till the last Revision
     in 1662 that this rubric was removed. The Divines at the Savoy
     Conference at first objected, and, in their published answer,
     stated that the reasons urged by the Puritan party for its
     removal were groundless. However, the rubric disappeared; and,
     I think, happily and providentially. For certainly (except
     the reader chances to have a _very_ beautiful voice) it would
     be painful to hear a Lesson--perhaps a chapter of fifty or
     sixty verses--said all in monotone. Moreover, while in solemn
     addresses (whether of Prayer or Praise to GOD), the solemn
     musical Recitation seems most fitting and reverential, in
     lections or addresses delivered primarily for the edification of
     _man_, a freer mode of utterance appears desirable and rational.

     Merbecke's book (I should have added) does not contain the music
     for the Litany--as that had been already published--nor for the
     whole Psalter. It simply gives a few specimens of adaptation of
     the old Chants to English Psalms or Canticles, and leaves it to
     individual choirs to adapt and select for themselves.

     The _intention_ of the English Church to retain a musical
     service is further confirmed by the often quoted injunction of
     Queen Elizabeth, 1559 (c. 49), which gives licence for an anthem.

     It first orders that "there shall be a modest and distinct
     _song_," (_i.e._ the ordinary plain song) "used in _all parts_
     of the Common Prayers of the Church;" while, for the comfort of
     such as delight in music, it permits, at the beginning or end of
     the services, "a hymn or song in the best melody and music that
     can be devised, having respect to the sense of the words."

     The utmost that can be said of our rubrics is, that in cases
     of musical incapacity, or where no choir can be got, where
     priest or people _cannot_ perform their part properly, then they
     _may_ perform it improperly. But, unquestionably, whenever the
     services _can_ be correctly performed, when the priest _can_
     monotone his part, and the people sing theirs, then the services
     ought to be so performed. It is a matter of simple obedience to
     Church rule. The single word "Even_song_" is a standing protest
     against the dull conversational services of modern times.

     In reference to the popular objection, that the musical rubrics
     refer merely to cathedrals and collegiate churches, Lord Stowell
     observed, in his judgment in the case of Hutchins _v._ Denziloe
     (see _Cripps_, p. 644, 3rd ed.), that if this _be_ the meaning
     of the rubrics and canons which refer to this subject, then
     "they are strangely worded, and of disputable meaning," for they
     _express_ nothing of the kind. The rubrics, he says, rule that
     certain portions of the service "be _sung_ or _said_ by the
     _minister_ and _people_; not by the prebendaries, canons, and
     a band of regular choristers, as in a cathedral; but plainly
     referring to the _services of a parish church_."

     It is very difficult to say _when_ the use of the monotone
     generally dropped and gave place to our modern careless
     unecclesiastical polytone. The change, I suppose, took place
     gradually; first in one district, then in another. The Church's
     mode of reciting her Offices would involve more _care_ and
     _skill_ than the clergy much cared to give. So, little by
     little,--first in one locality, then in another,--they fell
     into the modern, loose, irregular way of talking or pronouncing
     instead of "saying and singing."

  Yours ever,



  _January 20, 1866_.


_By the same Author._

     1.--THE PRINCIPLES OF DIVINE SERVICE. An Inquiry concerning the
         Order for Morning and Evening Prayer, and for Administration
         of the Holy Communion, in the English Church.
         Two vols., cloth, £1 6_s._ Or the vols, may be had separately.

     2.--PLAIN DIRECTIONS for understanding the Order for Morning and
         Evening Prayer, 3_d._

     3.--SUNDAY. A Poem, 4_d._ Masters.


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Minor typographical and punctuation errors have been corrected
without note. Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have
been retained as printed.

Mismatched quotes are not fixed if it's not sufficiently clear where
the missing quote should be placed.

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