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quently transmitted humble mites of plication to the contrary, and where contribution, and with best wishes for a mistake is not likely to be made. its success and the prosperity of our This view of the subject was opposed ispiritual Zion, I remain in proprià by your correspondent D. Ř. N., persona, your faithful friend, in the subsequent Number for
BASIL WOODD. March, and is now, again, objected
to by D. D., in his brief recapitulation of the results of this and some
other rubrical discussions in your Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
pages. Your impartiality in admitting the It is not my intention to trouble discussion of useful topics, on which you with any further communicathere is a difference of opinion, has tion on this topic, than the present. frequently been the means of eli- But as two correspondents have opciting just views respecting them. posed my statement, your justice, Depending therefore on your usual and the general practice admitted and equitable mode of proceeding, I in controversy, will, I trust, allow take the liberty of respectfully op- the insertion of my rejoinder. posing the sentiments of your cor- With submission to your corresrespondent D. D., with regard to pondents, and after due considerathe postures to be used by the offi- tion of their sentiments, I am conciating minister, in performing the strained to assert, that their views service of the church. Some of your on the subject have not, in the least renders may suppose that this is a degree, altered my own. But withsubject which does not merit any out intending to be positive or dogcontroversy but I trust many matical, I beg to state the following others will admit it to be of suffi. reasons and arguments for what I cient importance to deserve a careful consider to be the true meaning of discussion, as it regards an external the rubrics, on the subject under part of our worship, in which all consideration, and to have been the things should be done "decently general practice of the ministers of and in order.” In the words of your the church in past ages. correspondent, “it is incumbent on Ist. When I received holy orders, those who belong to our church, to now more than forty years ago, my understand and conform to its own practice was formed on that of rules;" and undoubtedly it ought to my senior brethren in the town and be known whether the officiating vicinity of my residence, whose cusminister is to stand or kneel in those tom then was, to continue standing parts of the worship of the church during the whole of the 'worship, in which no especial direction is subsequently to the direction to given.
stand, at the versicles, after the In answer to an inquiry from Lord's Prayer which immediately Ç, J. A., requesting to know the follows the Creed. In fact, if it be reason why the minister is in some not intended that the minister casas directed to stand, in the public should continue standing subseprayers of the church, I sent you a quently to the repetition of these communication, which you inserted versicles, not the shadow of a reason in your January Number for the can be assigned why he is to rise year 1824, stating, that the officiat, to recite these concise but important ing minister was always supposed and comprehensive petitions. to stand, except in those cases in there could, why is he not enjoined which he is especially directed to to stand at the reciting of the versi. kneel; and that the rubrical words cles of a similar kind, near the con. "all kneeling” do not include the clusion of the Litany, when he would officiating minister, except in one be previously kneeling, upon the prinor two cases where there is an im. ciples of those who suppose that this is the posture generally to be used dundant ; but I cannot admit, with by the minister during the worship. them, that there are any that are
2d. The practice of the officiat- defective : at least I do not recollect ing minister's standing, in those any, if Wheatley's and my own parts of divine service where an es- views of the subject be admitted. pecial direction is not given, is sup. But according to the sentiments of ported by Wheatley, in arguments those who oppose these views, there which appear to me unanswerable. are several gross and palpable des It is also incidentally admitted by fects in the rubrics of the Liturgy; Comber, which evidently demon- namely, in the service for the Sunstrates his view of the subject, and day afternoon, the three offices for the general practice of the time in Baptism, that for Churching of Wo. which his valuable book was written. men, and the one appointed for the Those, therefore, who maintain a rite of Confirmation*. That there different opinion, ought to shew that should be a few instances of redunComber was mistaken, and that the dancy, may be obviously accounted arguments of Wheatley are incon- for, on the principle that no mistake clusive. These admirable commen- should arise. But it does not appear tators on the Book of Common to be at all probable, nor scarcely Prayer, have been generally consi- credible, that the same persons who dered as no mean authorities on were so particular as to give direcsubjects of this kind.
tions er abundanti ; should, in any 3d. If the officiating minister is instance, and much less in a great not generally to stand, in offering the number, leave the rubrics defective. prayers of the congregation, no rea- 6th. There seems to be but one son can be assigned why, he should rubric which can be urged with any stand at all, except in pronouncing weight against Wheatley's view of the absolution. In the confessions the subject; namely, the one which of sin, in which his own humiliation follows the versicles
' in the morning is included with that of the congre- service, alluded to before. The gation, and in some few other parts rubric there says "all kneeling.” It of the service, obvious reasons may is readily granted, that prima facie be assigned, for which he is espe- this appears against the mode for cially directed to kneel, in contra- which I am arguing. But let it be distinction to his standing posture, impartially examined. Your correduring the worship in general. spondents D. R. N. and D. D. both
4th. It has been generally under- admit that there are instances in stood, that the officiating minister, which the rubric is redundant; and in the services of the church, acts the latter states, that, “in ambiguboth as the ambassador of God and ous cases, we must determine by as the “parson”. (person), or re- analogy, rather than by the mere presentative of the people. Hence, exactness of literal construction." • both in the Jewish and Christian With these two positions I perfectly churches, it has been the custom, coincide; and on this ground I meet that the minister should generally these gentlemen in the strongest stand, in performing the services of instance they can produce. The his sacred office.
direction here given is a rubric ex 5th. I agree with D. R. N., and abundanti ; because the people are with D.D., that there are a few in- previously kneeling. But the wordst stances in which the rubric is re
• The reader is respectfully referred to The term parson is now frequently my communication before mentioned, for used by way of_contempt towards the the arguments founded on these offices of ministers of the Established Church; but the church, and for several others, which this is the highest human title ever given have been neither answered nor noticed to the parochial minister, as it implies that by my opponents. he is the person or representative of the + D.R. N., in opposing this position, parish committed to his charge.
which is Wheatley's as well as mine, as
“all kneeling". do not always in. Lord's table ;" and in a particular clude the minister, as is evident aspect, “turning his face” towards from the Baptismal Services. Had the parties who have been united in it been intended that the minister matrimony. My other argument should kneel with the congregation, is deduced from the Commination already in that posture, doubtless Service. If the words “all kneelthe rubric would have said, “the ing" had been generally considered
priest, or minister, kneeling.” Then as including the officiating minister, - with respect to the analogy of this why should they not have been used
ambiguous case (if it should be so without the especial direction here considered), it is only necessary to given ? The reason is obvious. The refer to the rubric in the afternoon whole of this service consists in acts Service, after the same versicles, of humiliation and confession. In where the redundant rubric is not the prayers, therefore, contained in inserted, and where consequently it, " the priest and clerks" are esthe people continue to kneel, and pecially directed to kneel with the the minister to stand: for on people, as the officiating minister, Wheatley's principle, I argue, that is, in all other confessions of sin, there is no defect in the rubrics; appointed in the different services and certainly no instance can be of the church. adduced in which a rubric is omitted Having thus given my opinion on because it has been previously used one of the subjects noticed by your in a similar part of the service, in a correspondent D. D., I take the former period of the day, and much liberty of mentioning two others less can it be imagined, that in a which have been omitted by him, long rubric, two most important and in his dissertation on the rubrics. peculiarly necessary words should One refers to a direction given in be defectively omitted.
the Churching of Women. The 7th. Two other arguments may minister addresses the woman, be adduced, which, in my opinion, “You shall give hearty thanks unto are of themselves, sufficient to set God, and say”—The rubric follows: the question at rest. In the form of “Then shall the priest say the the solemnization of Matrimony, in cxvith Psalm, or Psalm cxxvii.” In the first prayer it is evidently implied many churches it is customary that the minister to stand, as I for the clerk to read the alternate maintain he is supposed to do in all verses of these Psalms. But this is the other occasional services: in evidently an impropriety, in direct the subsequent prayers be is directed opposition to the rubric, which reto stand. But for what reason ? quires the minister to repeat the Not merely because he is to stand, Psalm for the woman, in her name, but because he is to stand in a place and as her representative, in this not used in any other part of the part of the service. worship of the church“ before the The other circumstance to which
I refer is, that there is no rubrical serts, that if the word all, in the rubrics direction as to what form or mode “all kneeling,” does not include the mi- of prayer the minister is to use benister, it must exclude him in the rubric
fore his sermon. The substance of "all standing up,” and leave him continu. ing to kneel while the people are standing. a form is indeed found among the But surely this cannot follow as a conse- canons of the church, generally quence, even if the minister were some. called the Bidding Prayer; because, times required to kneel while the congregation is standing (which is never the case)
as there given, it consists more of because it is admitted, that the words “alí exhortation than of prayer. This: kneeling” do not universally exclude the appears to me to be rather a direcminister. A particular implication, or the tory than a positive form, and that general analogy of the subject, is in all it is intended that the minister cases sufficient to determine the point, whether the minister is, or is not included. should turn the hortatory mode in.. to direct petitions. But this direc- bishop, according to a custom then tory, or form, if it may be so termed, frequently practised, introduces his is not used except on public and subject by some preliminary reparticular occasions. The gene- marks, as a sort of preface, which rality of ministers in the present concludes thus:-“ Of these subday use one of the collects of the jects we will by the help of God church, several of which are well speak and deal with; but first let us adapted for the purpose. Some, pray.” It then follows before the who have no objection to the col- sermon was begun, “Here the prayer lects, and who frequently use them, was made.” Some years ago I read occasionally offer up a short extem- a tract by Bishop Wilkins, the title porary prayer. The practice of of which escapes my recollection, others is to precompose a short written against the work of some prayer particularly adapted to the Dissenter who had opposed the subject of the sermon. During Established Church. Among other the first years of my ministry, my objections, this opponent had stated, highly esteemed friend, the late Sir that many of the ministers of the James Stonhouse, frequently lent me church neither preached nor prayed, some of his manuscript serinons, because they did not preach and the whole of which were written by pray extempore. According to the him in a fair and legible hand: at best of my recollection, the subthe beginning and end of most of stance of the bishop's reply was, these, a short and appropriate that the ministers of the church prayer, or rather collect, was writ- were at liberty to preach without ten, founded especially on the sub- notes if they preferred this practice; ject of the discourse; as many of and that, though they used the the collects of our church are on liturgy by choice and obligation, the Epistles and Gospels, from they had complete liberty also to whence they receive their significant , use extemporary prayers before and name. It appears to me therefore, after their sermons. I have been that, as there is no rubric on the particular in stating what appear to subject, the minister is left to his me to be the views of the church on option respecting it; and that those this subject, because some persons who use the two last modes do not in the present day charge those impugn the order or practice of the ministers who use any other prayers church, any more than others who than the collects of the church beconfine themselves to one of its fore and after sermon, with innova. collects. My reasons are as fol- tion, and suppose that they are lows:- It seems, from the history impugning its order and discipline. of our church and its fathers, that Those, however, who are acquainted many of its bishops and ministers with the history of the church will at the time of the Reformation, not admit this charge; and others, and subsequently, used, occasionally who agree with me that the rubrics at least, their own extemporary or are not defective on any essential precomposed prayers, before and subject, will consider it to have no after their sermons. In many printed foundation. If it were intended that sermons of that period the occa- the minister should necessarily consional prayer is published with them. fine himself to one of the collects In others, the circumstance of the of the liturgy, it would undoubtedly prayer having been used is men- have been so stated in a rubric. It tioned. There is at present before is however evident, that no order or me the funeral sermon preached for rule of any kind is any where given the Earl of Essex, in the “ parish on this subject, for the direction of church of Caermarthen, by the Rev. the minister, except the one inserted, Father in God, Richard, Bishop of as before mentioned, among the St. David's;" in the year 1576. The canons, which were not published CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 304.
till many years subsequently to the dom, not only in their direct exhorexistence of the rubrics.
tations and promises, but in the narH. GAUNTLETT. ratives which they record, all being
written so as to display the conduct ** Having, according to the re- of God towards his creatures; his quest of our correspondent, inserted wisdom and righteousness, his jushis rejoinder, we think the question tice and his mercy, his anger against about postures and rubrical direc- the transgressor, his favour to the tions, is now fairly before our readers; humble penitent, his infinite patience and we therefore trust, that we shall and forbearance towards all. We be excused from prolonging the dis- see embodied in actual facts our Lussion,
EDITOR. own circumstances; our sins and our
mercies; what we have to hope or to fear; what our Creator requires
of us; how he will act towards us. FAMILY SERMONS.-No. CCXX.
He is represented as ever present 2 Chronicles xxxiii. 12, 13.–And · with us, about "our path and our
when he was in affliction, he be- bed;" that is, by day and by night, sought the Lord his God, and hum, “searching out all our ways,” rebled himself greatly before the God cording all our actions, comforting of his fathers, and prayed unto his servants in their afflictions, makhim; and he was entreated of hin, ing a way for their
provand heard his supplication, and ing himself “ a very present help brought him again to Jerusalem, in time of trouble.” into his kingdom. Then Manas- The chief particulars, which the seh knew that the Lord he was narrative under our consideration God.
suggests, are the aggravated transThe narratives of the Old Testa- gressions of Manasseh; the consement are not to be read as mere, quent affliction which befel him; his matters of history, but as records of repentance in his affliction; his delithe providential dispensations of God verance from it, and his future obein the concerns of mankind, and as dience to God. And may we, while fraught with lessons of the most va- we reflect
this short but affectluable moral and religious instruc- ing history apply to our own hearts, tion. In this light we are to con- and may the Holy Spirit apply to us, sider the account handed down to the instruction which it affords, that us of Manasseh king of Judah. An we may learn the awful guilt of foruninspired historian could only have saking God; the punishment which, informed us of his evil life, his afflic- sooner or later, and if not in this tion, his repentance, his restoration world certainly in another, it must to prosperity, and his subsequent bring upon us; the necessity of regood conduct; but the sacred wri- pentance and turning to our offendter exhibits to us the manner in ed Creator, who is willing notwithwhich the hand of God was visible standing our offences to become to throughout these events. It was us a reconciled God and Father in not a matter of chance that Manas- Christ Jesus, not imputing to us our seh fell into adversity; for it was a offences, but pardoning us by his free scourge expressly sent upon him for mercy, through the obedience unto his transgressions: nor was it by death of his blessed Son, our only chance that he was restored to his Mediator and Advocate, and renewkingdom, but by the unseen inter- ing our hearts by his Holy Spirit, that position of the al-wise Disposer of we may henceforth obey his comevents, and in consequence of his mands and live to his glory. deep humiliation and humble pray- First, then, the chapter before uso
It is thus that the Scriptures details the transgressions of Manasteach us maxims of heavenly wis- seh. His sins were of a very heinous