Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/275

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261
PRAYER, BOOK OF COMMON


Edwardian Prayer Books was omitted “from the tyranny of the bishop of Rome and all his detestable enormities, good Lord deliver us.”-4.

In the Communion service the two clauses of administration found in the first and second Prayer Books of King Edward's reign were combined.

5. The rubric explanatory of “ kneeling for reception, ” commonly known as “ the Black Rubric ” was omitted.

6. In the Ordinal in the rubric before the oath of the queen's sovereignty the words “ against the power and authority of all foreign potentates ” were substituted for “ against the usurped power and authority of the Bishop of Rome, ” and in the oath itself four references to the bishop of Rome, by name, were omitted.

There were a few more minor alterations, without doctrinal or political significance which need not be described in detail here. The only further addition or alteration made in Queen Elizabeth's reign was in 1561, when all the present black letter Holy Days were added to the Kalendar except St George (April 23) Lammas (Aug. 1), St Laurence (Aug. IO) and St Clement (Nov. 22), which already existed, and except St Enurchus (Sept. 7), added in 1604, and the Venerable Bede (May 27) and St Alban (June 17) added in 1662. A smouldering and growing Puritan discontent with the Prayer Book, suppressed with a firm hand under Queen Elizabeth, burst out into a flame on the accession of King James I. in IOO3. A petition called the millenary petition, because signed by no less than one thousand ministers, was soon presented to him, asking, among other things, for various alterations in the Prayer Book and specifying the alterations desired. As a result the king summoned a conference of leading Puritan divines, and of bishops and other leading Anglican divines, which met under his presidency at Hampton Court in January 1604. After both sides had been heard, certain alterations were determined upon and were ordered by royal authority, with the general assent of Convocation. These alterations were not very numerous nor of great importance, but such as they were they all went in the direction of catholicizing rather than of puritanizing the Prayer Book; the one exception being the substitution of some chapters of the canonical scriptures for some chapters of the Apocrypha, especially of the book of Tobit. Other changes were:-

1. The addition of one more black letter Saint's Day, viz.: Enurchus (by error for Evurtius) on the 7th of September. This was a small but a very extraordinary and an inexplicable change to make. The only explanation offered, which is a pure guess and seems barely possible, is that it was desired to place some mark of dignity upon a day which during the late reign had been kept with great festivity as the birthday of Queen Elizabeth. 2. The words, “ The absolution to be pronounced by the minister alone ” at Morning and Evening Prayer, were altered to “ The Absolution, or Remission of Sins, to be pronounced by the priest alone, standing; the people still kneeling.” 3. A prayer for the royal family was added after the prayer for the king, and a petition was added in the Litany to the same effect, both exhibiting slight verbal differences from the prayer and petition as used to-day.

4. Thanksgiving prayers were added for rain, for fair weather, for plenty, for peace and victory.

5. Important alterations were introduced into the service for the private baptism of children in houses, with the object of doing away with lay baptism and securing the administration by the minister of the parish, or some other lawful minister. 6. The confirmation service was entitled and explained thus: “ The Order of Confirmation, or Laying on of Hands upon Children Baptized, and able to render an account of their faith according to the Catechism following.”

7. The concluding portion of the Catechism, consisting of eleven questions on the sacraments, was now added. There were other slight changes of a verbal kind, involving no doctrinal or political significance and which therefore need not be described here.

The next important stage in the history of the Prayer Book was its total suppression in 1645 for a period of fifteen years, “ the Directory for the Public Worship of God in the Three Kingdoms ” being established in its place. The restoration of King Charles II. in 166O brought with it toleration at once, and soon afterwards complete restoration of the Prayer Book, but not exactly in the same form whichit had before. Nonconformists pressed upon the king, either that the Prayer Book should not be re-introduced, or that if it were re-introduced, features which they objected to might be removed. The result was that a conference was held in 1661, known from its place of meeting as the Savoy Conference, the church being represented by twelve bishops and the Nonconformists by twelve eminent; Presbyterian divines, each side accompanied by nine coadjutors. The objections raised from the Nonconformist point of view were numerous and varied, but they were thoroughly discussed between the first meeting on the 15th of April and the last on the 24th of July 1661; the bishops agreeing to meet the Puritan wishes on a few minor points but on none of fundamental importance. Later in the year, between the 20th of November and the 20th of December, Convocation assembled and undertook the revision of the Prayer Book. In the earlier part of the following year the book so revised came before parliament. No amendment was made in it in either house and it finally received the royal assent on the 19th of May 1662, being annexed to an Act of Uniformity which provided for its coming into general and compulsory use on St Bartholomew's Day (Aug. 24). The alterations thus introduced were very numerous, amounting to many hundreds, and many of them were more important than any which had been introduced into the Prayer Book since 1552. Their general tendency was distinctly in a Catholic as opposed to a Puritan direction, and the two thousand Puritan incumbents who vacated their benefices on St Bartholomew's Day rather than accept the altered Prayer Book bear eloquent testimony to that fact.

It is impossible to give here an exhaustive list of the alterations: but the following were some of the principal changes made in 1662. (a) The preface “ It hath been the wisdom of the Church of England, ” &c., composed by Sanderson, bishop of Lincoln, was prefixed to the Prayer Book. (b) The authorized version of the Bible of 1611 was taken into use, except in the case of the Psalms, Where the great Bible of 1539-1540 was retained as much smoother for singing, and in parts of the Communion service. (c) The rubric preceding the absolution in Morning and Evenin Prayer, viz.: “ The absolution to be pronounced by the minister aione, " was altered into “ The Absolution, or Remission of Sins, to be pronounced by the priest alone, standing; the people .still kneeling.” (d) In the Litany the phrase “ Bishops, Pastors and Ministers of the Church, " was altered into “ Bishops, Priests and Deacons, " and in the clause commencing “ From all sedition and privy conspiracy, " &c., the words “ rebellion " and “ schism " were added. (e) Among the “ Prayers and Thanksgivings upon several occasions, " were added the two Ember week prayers, the prayer for the high court of parliament, the collect or prayer for all conditions of men, the general thanksgiving, and that “For restoring Publ'ic Peace at Home." (f) In the Communion service two rubrics were prefixed to the prayer “ for the whole state of Christ's Church militant here in earth ” ordering the humble presentation and placing of the alms upon the Holy Table, and the placing thereon then of so much Bread and /Vine as the priest shall think sufficient; and (g) the commemoration of the departed was added to the prayer itself. (h) The rubric explanatory of the posture of kneeling for reception, known as the Black Rubric, which had been added in 1562, but omitted in 1559 and 1604, was re-introduced; but the words “ to any real and essential presence there being of Christ's natural flesh and blood " were altered to “ unto any Corporal Presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood ”-a very important and significant alteration which affected the meaning of the whole rubric. (i) Rubrics were also added ordering the manual acts by the priest in the prayer of consecration, and the covering of the remainder of the consecrated elements after Communion with a fair linen cloth. (k) A new office was added for the Ministration of Baptism to such as are of riper years. (Z) A rubric was prefixed to the Order for the Burial of the Dead, forbidding that order to be used “ for any that die unbaptized, or excommunicate, or have laid violent hands upon themselves." (m) In the “ Ordering of Priests, " and “ the Consecration of Bishops, " in the formula for ordination, after the words, “ Receive the Holy Ghost, " these Words were added “ for the Office and Work of a Priest (or Bishop) in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by the imposition of our hands." (n) The ornaments rubric, regulating the vesture of the