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PRAYERS FOR THE DEAD.

I cannot contain my passions; and, two united, as to consider them inseroused to the extreme height of de- parable ; but the students of Church votedness, I respectfully present my history know very well that prayers petition to your Majesty, excessively for the dead preceded the doctrine of trembling, and filled with fear.”

purgatory by a long interval of time; and indeed it is obvious that prayers for the dead may be offered up without believing in purgatory, or even ever having heard of that figment.

We may pray for the dead in a geneSir Herbert Jenner's decision in the ral ignorance of their state, with a Court of Arches, in the case of the vague hope of rendering them some Rev. J. Breeks versus Widow Wool- undefined assistance, and of furtherfrey, has caused an immense ecclesi- ing their eternal interests in that unastical commotion in the kingdom ; seen and unknown world, to which and indeed it is a subject of the deep- they have carried away with them our est interest to all persons, considering dearest affections, and our tenderest the present position of the papal ene- regrets. And that prayers for the my. It is a victory of high impor- dead are separable from purgatory, is tance to the popish priests and the apparent by the fact, that the authors Puseyites; and is considered by them of Edward VI.'s first liturgy retained a rapid advance for their designs, far the practice, but in such a manner as beyond what they could have antici- to avoid all mention of the popish pated six months ago. It is now de- limbo ; which elicited from Calvin the cided that the Church of England following remark, addressed by him to does not prohibit prayers for the dead. the Protector of England. 'I hear The learned Judge, who seems to

that in the celebration of the supper have considered the subject very mi- there is repeated a prayer for the denutely, came to this conclusion, that parted; and I well know that this canthe denial of purgatory is not of ne- not be construed into an approbation cessity a denial of prayers for the of their papistical purgatory. The dead. “ It appears to me,” said Sir Book of Homilies has, indeed, some H. Jenner, « that the point upon

sentences against the practice. In which the whole question turns, is, 'the homily on Prayer we find, · Let whether praying for the dead is so us not, therefore, dream either of

purnecessarily connected with the Romish

gatory or of prayer for the souls of doctrine of purgatory, as to form a the dead.' And again, Let these, part of it? If that fact could be made and such other places, be sufficient to out, there would be an end of the take

away

the gross error of purgacase.” The learned Judge meant to tory out of our heads ; neither let us say, that “as the twenty-second article dream any more that the souls of the of the Church of England pronounced dead are any thing at all holpen by concerning the Romish doctrine of

our prayers.

But the homilies are purgatory, that it is a fond thing, not of sufficient authority to decide a vainly invented, and grounded upon disputed point in Anglican theology; no warranty of Scripture, but ra- the Articles indeed refer to them as ther repugnant to the word of God;' "containing godly and holy doctrine,' if therefore praying for the dead is but it is to the Articles that legal renecessarily connected with purgatory, ference must be made for the authenit would be quite clear that prayers

tic definition of Protestant opinions, for the dead are prohibited by the as entertained by the Church of EngChurch of England.

Most of us land. As therefore the Articles do have been so accustomed to hear the not forbid prayers to the dead, it is

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the idea that the resolutions of your originally a foreigner, speaking a ancestors would be carried into effect

language different from that of China, by the hand of your Majesty; but wearing clothes of a different pattern, your present indulgence and want of his mouth not uttering the rules of prompt decision will pamper this sect, ancient kings, his person not submitand cause them to increase more and ting to their laws, ignorant of the

duties of princes and people, and the “I have lately heard that your affections of parents and children: Majesty has ordered the host of priests now, suppose he were at present still to bring with respect the bone of Fúh alive, and had received the orders of from Fung-tseang into the imperial his country to come and wait upon palace for inspection, ordering all tem- your Majesty, your Majesty would ples to contribute and supply it with only allow him an audience in the sacrifices. Now, though I am the Schen-ching hall, give him a change most stupid of men, yet I know that of raiment, and see him safely conyour Majesty is not deceived by Fŭh, ducted to the borders of your kingbut have performed this service in dom, but by no means suffer him to order to pray for prosperity. But convert your people. Now that his truly, to appoint in your capital, and body is long since dead, and his bones before your officers, these false and are rotten, how unsuitable is it to imposing spectacles, these instruments bring this remnant of unpropitious of folly, in order to render the harvest filth into the imperial palace! Conabundant, the people happy, and their fucius said, Respect the gods, and hearts obedient,

how could one pos- keep them at a distance.' The ancient sessing sacred intelligence act thus, princes, when they went to console and believe such things as these? the neighbouring princes, first ordered The blind and stupid people are easily a necromancer to pronounce spells, deceived, and slowly understand; but and with the plant Taon-le to drive when we see your Majesty thus, we away calamities; but now, without any must certainly conclude that your cause, you have taken a putrid filthy whole mind is given up to the service thing, and have come yourself to of Fúh. All will say, “If the Empe- inspect it without any necromancer ror, so exalted and intelligent, still preceding, or without using the Taonwith his whole heart believes in Fủh, le. The host of ministers have not who are we people, that we should not spoken of the impropriety of it, nor much more give up our very lives ?' have the imperial examiners reported They will singe their crowns and

the error. I am really and truly burn their fingers, and by tens and ashamed of it. I entreat that this hundreds go to give away their clothes,

bone
may

be delivered to some and distribute their money to the officer, to throw it into fire or water, priests from morning to evening, imi- and for ever to exterminate its estating one another, till I fear both

sence, in order to remove the doubts young and old will presently run of the empire, to counteract the away, utterly neglecting their business temptations of former dynasties, and and employments. If you do not cause the people to know that the instantly prohibit these things, but example of our great sage infinitely increase their temples still more, then exceeds those of common useless there will be soon persons amputating things. their limbs, and mincing their bodies “ If Fŭh is indeed a spirit, and can for offerings to Fúh; ruining our make men miserable, whatever calamorals, and exciting the ridicule of mities he is able to inflict, let him heap surrounding nations. This will not

them on my person. be a trifling matter. Fŭh witness I will not retract or complain.

Heaven is my

Now,

was

PRAYERS FOR THE DEAD.

I cannot contain my passions; and, two united, as to consider them inseroused to the extreme height of de- parable ; but the students of Church votedness, I respectfully present my history know very well that prayers petition to your Majesty, excessively for the dead preceded the doctrine of trembling, and filled with fear.” purgatory by a long interval of time;

and indeed it is obvious that prayers for the dead

may be offered up without believing in purgatory, or even ever having heard of that figment.

We may pray for the dead in a geneSir Herbert Jenner's decision in the ral ignorance of their state, with a Court of Arches, in the case of the vague hope of rendering them some Rev. J. Breeks versus Widow Wool- undefined assistance, and of furtherfrey, has caused an immense ecclesi- ing their eternal interests in that unastical commotion in the kingdom ; seen and unknown world, to which and indeed it is a subject of the deep- they have carried away with them our est interest to all persons, considering dearest affections, and our tenderest the present position of the papal ene- regrets. And that prayers for the my. It is a victory of high impor- dead are separable from purgatory, is tance to the popish priests and the apparent by the fact, that the authors Puseyites; and is considered by them of Edward VI.'s first liturgy retained a rapid advance for their designs, far the practice, but in such a manner as beyond what they could have antici- to avoid all mention of the popish pated six months ago. It is now de- limbo; which elicited from Calvin the cided that the Church of England following remark, addressed by him to does not prohibit prayers for the dead. the Protector of England. I hear The learned Judge, who seems to

that in the celebration of the supper have considered the subject very mi- there is repeated a prayer for the denutely, came to this conclusion, that parted; and I well know that this canthe denial of purgatory is not of ne

not be construed into an approbation cessity a denial of prayers for the of their papistical purgatory. The dead. “It appears to me,” said Sir Book of Homilies has, indeed, some H. Jenner, & that the point upon

sentences against the practice. In which the whole question turns, is, 'the homily on Prayer we find, · Let whether praying for the dead is so us not, therefore, dream either of purnecessarily connected with the Romish gatory or of prayer for the souls of doctrine of purgatory, as to form a

the dead.' And again, Let these, part of it? If that fact could be made and such other places, be sufficient to out, there would be an end of the take

away

the gross error of purgacase.” The learned Judge meant to tory out of our heads; neither let us say, that “as the twenty-second article dream any more that the souls of the of the Church of England pronounced dead are any thing at all holpen by concerning 6 the Romish doctrine of our prayers.

But the homilies are purgatory, that it is a fond thing, not of sufficient authority to decide a vainly invented, and grounded upon disputed point in Anglican theology; no warranty of Scripture, but ra- the Articles indeed refer to them as ther repugnánt to the word of God; containing godly and holy doctrine,' if therefore praying for the dead is but it is to the Articles that legal renecessarily connected with purgatory, ference must be made for the authenit would be quite clear that prayers

tic definition of Protestant opinions, for the dead are prohibited by the as entertained by the Church of EngChurch of England.

Most of us land. As therefore the Articles do have been so accustomed to hear the not forbid prayers to the dead, it is

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held that the practice is not forbidden corporations, endowed schools, pubby the Established Church.”

lic companies, and private individuals, It would seem then that the Church bequeathed or otherwise devoted to of England is left in that predica- praying for the souls of the departed, ment in which Henry VIII. placed it, are fraudulently retained, and ought when in drawing up his “ Erudition to be restored to chaunting priests, and of a Christian Man,” he thus, in others, who will duly exercise the apambiguous terms, explained his ideas pointed trusts. It is gravely mainof “ purgatory,” for under that title tained that “Ora pro anima' or 'anihe dictated to his loving people the mabusis not accounted by the following rule of faith. « Forasmuch Church of England a superstitious as due order of character requireth, condition annexed to property. If so, and the Book of Maccabees, and di- lands and funds of the value of milyers ancient doctors plainly shew, that lions of money ought either to be reit is a very good and charitable deed stored to the popish owners, or conto pray for souls departed, and foras- ferred on Mr. Newman, Dr. Pusey, much also as such usage hath conti- Mr. Palmer, Mr. Keble, and others, nued in the church for many years,

who

may think it right and charitable even from the beginning, we will that to perform the condition." (Feb. No. all bishops and preachers shall instruct 14, p. 124). and teach our people, committed by us Here is news for the Church of unto their spiritual charge, that no Rome! Why, the Conclave will shout man ought to be grieved with the con- for joy when they receive the glad tinuance of the same.

tidings; for never since the accession Some men, however, are grieved of Mary to the throne of England with the continuance of the same," and has such a splendid prospect of a golespecially the Christian Observer, den age opened upon

the
eyes

of his which thus expresses its grief :

66 The Holiness. Depend upon it, the podecision of Sir H. Jenner, in the mat- pish priests are on the look-out, and ter of the Carisbrooke superstitious they will ere long pounce down on inscription, is beginning to work its their “ lawful” prey, unless some act baneful effects. We do not mean that of parliament shall interfere to keep the Papists exult, and that the Ox- them out of their old possessions. ford-Tract sect exult with them, or Imagination cannot grasp all the exthat the Protestant Dissenters taunt traordinary consequences that may reus, and that the friends of the Angli- sult from Sir H. Jenner's decision. can reformation are deeply afflicted at Not only may all the joint swarm of the disgrace brought upon our church papal locusts," white, black, and grey, and our common Christianity (whose?) with all their trumpery,” come down by that ill-judged and lamentable de- upon their ancient pastures ; but, if in cision, though all this be true ;—but one single instance they should sucwe refer to the practical effect, as ex- ceed in ousting an unlawful tenant of emplified in some recent proceedings property originally granted for the in the Rolls' Court, in which the de- benefit of the dead, we shall then, as cision of Sir H. Jenner is urged in

a necessary consequence, behold all proof, that property devoted to pur- the side-aisles of the cathedrals fitted chase prayers

for the dead is not de- up again with chaunting altars for the dicated to a superstitious use. We use of those priests who have no scruconfess that if Sir H. Jenner is right, ple in doing that " which the Church we see no honest way of avoiding this of England does not forbid ;" and conclusion : and hence immense then again will copes and candles, masses of property held by cathe- crosses and pixes, relics and rosaries, drals, colleges, parishes, municipal and all the other innumerable trinkets

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of the papal superstitions be restored ledged by the parties to whom the apin the national churches, according to peal is made. * We were prepared for the original intentions of the builders many wonders to be revealed in the and founders of those ancient edi- Establishment; but that a Protestant fices.

college should secretly engage Popish Is all this visionary ? Certainly not. priests to say masses for the souls The Christian Observer is correct in of the founders of their college, was its vaticinations. The same line of certainly a wonder beyond common of legal argument that ousted the capacities of belief, neither will it Unitarians from the possession of be believed till confirmed by better Lady Hewley's property, will be ap- authority. plicable to the Protestant possessors One thing, however, should be of Popish chauntries ; and if prayers kept in mind, that if the rulers of All for the dead are not forbidden by the Souls' College should indeed have emChurch of England, then must at- ployed the Popish priests to sing tention be paid to the will of the origi- masses for the souls of the founders, nal donors of property left for the ex- they probably resorted to such an express purpose of benefiting the souls pedient, not for any gratification of of the departed.

their own, but for legal security; and The Roman Catholics, who openly must have been in possession of some profess their exuberant joy at this re- lawyer's opinion, advising them that markable turn of affairs in their fa- such a step was expedient, from which vour, have published some pamphlets we may judge of the fickle tenure of on the subject of Widow Woolfrey's Popish foundations held by Protestant epitaph ; and from one entitled “ The occupants. Scarlet Fathers the Church and In the meanwhile, what say the the Widow (London, Southgate)," Oxford Tractators ? The triumph of we make the following extract : “ At superstition cannot be otherwise than All Souls' College, not many years

most agreeable to them; and the Briago, a Catholic priest was employed tish Magazine is already giving notes to say mass for the founders, to en- of preparation for the great things to able them to receive their money un- be done, now that a door has been der their will. Let any person in au.

opened for their party into Hades thority connected with All Souls' Col- through the Court of Arches. Thus lege, deny the above assertion, and the writes one of their favoured correproof is ready to be adduced," (page spondents in the February number, 24).

Prayers for the dead are not to be This most extraordinary statement found in the formularies of the Church certainly merits our attention in the of England, the strictest adherence to present juncture. Is it true ? it is which is both enjoined and practised boldly asserted; and the writer, by his by the objects of the Reviewer's attack italics, which we have copied, evi- (the writer alludes to an able article dently reckons with confidence on the in the Church of England Quarterly proofs of his assertion, of which he on the Oxford Tract party), still I may speaks as if they were within his be permitted to say, that for my own reach. Perhaps the writer is ac- part, I speak my own sentiments, no quainted with the priest who was paid one else is answerable for them. I by the college to say

the

masses, per- regret such prayers have been disconhaps the writer is that priest himself; tinued (be it recollected they are no at any rate he seems to know well where forbidden) in our present liwhat he is saying ; and we trust that turgy.” we shall either hear the statement de- Churchmen who regret the disconnied and disproved, or else acknow- tinuance of prayers for the dead, and

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