Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/277

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263
PRAYING WHEEL—PREACHING

burden and heat of the day (St Matt. xx. 12). And so the simple severance between good and bad indicated in St Luke vi. 26, became the threefold division made familiar by Dante. These speculations were further fixed by the growth of the theory of satisfaction and of Indulgences: each forgiven soul was supposed to have to endure an amount of suffering in proportion to the guilt of its sins, and the prayers and pious acts of the living availed to shorten this penance time in Purgatory (see INDUL-GENCES). It thus came about that prayers for the dead were regarded only as aiming at the deliverance of souls from purgatorial fires; and that application of the Eucharist seems to have overshadowed all others. The Council of Trent attempted certain reforms in the matter, with more or less success; but, broadly speaking, the system still remains in the Roman Catholic Church, and masses for the dead are a very important part of its acts of worship.

The Reformation took its rise in a righteous protest against the sale of Indulgences; and by a natural reaction the Protestants, in rejecting the Roman doctrine of Purgatory, were inclined to disuse all prayers for the dead. Important changes have been made, in the successive revisions of the Prayer Book, in the commemorations of the dead at the Eucharist and in the Burial Service.

In the Communion Service of 1549, after praise and thanks were offered for all the saints, chiefly the Blessed Virgin, came the following: “ We commend into thy mercy all other thy servants, which are departed hence from us with the sign of faith and now do rest in the sleep of peace: grant unto them, we beseech thee, thy mercy and even lasting peace.” The Burial Service of the same date contained explicit prayers for the deceased, and introit, collect, epistle and gospel were provided for “the Celebration of the Holy Communion when there is a Burial of the Dead.” In 1552, under the influence of Bucer, all mention of the dead, whether commemorative or intercessory, was cut out of the Eucharist; the prayers in the Burial Service were brought into their present form; and the provision for Holy Communion at a Burial was omitted. The thankful commemoration of the dead in the Eucharist was restored in 1661, but prayers for them remained, if they remained at all, veiled in ambiguous phrases.

The Church of England has never forbidden prayers for the dead, however little she has used them in her public services. It was proposed in 1 5 52 to condemn the scholastic doctrine De precatione pro defunct is in what is now the 22nd of the Thirty-Nine Articles, but the proposal was rejected. And these intercessions have been used in private by a long list of English divines, among whom Andrewes, Cosin, Ken, Wesley and Keble form an almost complete chain down to the present day. On the tomb of Bishop Barrow (1680) stands a request to passers-by to pray for their fellow-servant. And in a suit (1838) as to the lawfulness of an inscription, “ Pray for the soul of . ., ” the Court decided that “ no authority or canon has been pointed out by which the practice of praying for the dead has been expressly prohibited.” As Ieremy Taylor put it (Dissuasive from Popery, I. I. iv.), “ General prayers for the dead the Church of England never did condemn by any express articles, but left it in the middle.”

H. M. Luckock, After Death (I st ed., London, 1879); EfH.Plumptre, The Spirits in Prison (London, 1884). (W. O. B.)


PRAYING WHEEL, a mechanical apparatus used by the Lamaist Buddhists in Tibet and elsewhere for offering prayers. Strips of paper bearing a manifold repetition of the words “ The Iewel in the Lotus, Amen, ” are wrapped round cylinders of all sizes-from hand-mills to wind- or water-mills. As the wheel revolves these uncoil and the prayer is considered to be offered.


PREACHING (Fr. précher, from Lat. praedicare, to proclaim), the proclamation of a Divine message both to those who have not heard it, and to those who, having heard it, have not accepted it, and the regular instruction of the converted in the doctrines and duties of the faith, is a distinctive though not a peculiar feature of the Christian religion. The Mahommedans exercise it freely, and it is not unknown among the Buddhists. The history of Christian preaching with which alone this article is concerned has its roots (1) in the activity of the Hebrew prophets and scribes, the former representing the broader appeal, the latter the edification of the faithful, (2) in the ministry of Jesus Christ and His apostles, where again we have both the evangelical invitation and the teaching of truth and duty. Whichever element is emphasized in preaching, the preacher is one who believes himself to be the ambassador of God, charged with a message which it is his duty to deliver.

1. The Patristic A ge, to the Death of St Augustine, A.D. 430.-Of the first two centuries we have very little information. From the Acts of the. Apostles we gather something as to the methbds adopted by St Peter and St Paul, and these we may believe were more or less general. The Apostles who had known the Lord would naturally recall the facts of His life, and the story of His words and works would form a great deal of their preaching. After they had passed away and before the Christian Scriptures were canonically sifted and collected there was a gap which for us is only slenderly hlled by such productions as the so-called 2nd Epistle of Clement, really a rambling homily on repentance and confession (see CLEMENTINE LITERATURE), and by what we can imagine was the practice of men like Ignatius and, on the other hand, the Apologists. Most of these were primarily writers, but Justin Martyr has left a reputation for speaking, especially in debate, as well. Some of the writings of Tertullian (c. zoo), e.g. those on Patience and Penitence, read as though they had been spoken, and it is hard to believe that this brilliant rhetorician did not consecrate his powers of address to his new faith. Cyprian (d. 2 58), too, was a hnished speaker; his Epistle to Donatus emphasizes the need of a simple and undecorated style in the proclamation of the gospel. None of his sermons, however, unless we regard his book on the Lord's Prayer as a homily, has come down to us.

By this time the canon of New Testament Scripture was fairly settled, and with Origen (d. 2 54) we find the beginning of preaching as an explanation and application of definite texts. Origen was pre-eminently a teacher, and the didactic side of preaching is thus more conspicuous in his work. When we allow for his excessive use of the allegorical method, there is still left a great deal of power and suggestiveness. In his hands, as may be seen from the IQ homilies on Ieremiah that have been preserved in the Greek (and others in the Latin of Rufinus), the crude homily of his predecessors began to take a more dignified, orderly and impressive form. Alongside Origen we may rank Hippolytus of Rome on the strength of the one sermon of his which is extant, a panegyric on baptism based on the theophany which marked the baptism of Jesus.

The 4th century marks the culmination of early Christian preaching. The imperial patronage had made education and social distinctions a greater possibility for the preacher, and the decline of political eloquence furnished an opening for pulpit oratory. The didactic element was no longer in sole possession of the field, for the inrush of multitudes to the Christian faith and the building of large churches necessitated a return to the evangelical or proclamatory type of sermon. It was the age of doctrinal controversy, and the intellectual presentation of the Christian position was thus sharpened and developed. The Antiochene school had set a worthy example of careful exegesis of scripture. It was in the East especially that preaching flourished: Eusebius of Caesarea, Eusebius of Emesa, Athanasius, Macarius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Ephraem Syrus among the orthodox; and of the Arians, Arius himself and Ulfilas the great Gothic missionary, are all of high quality; but above even these stand out the three Cappadocians, Basil (q.v.) of Caesarea, cultured, devout and practical; his brother Gregory (q.v.) of Nyssa, more inclined to the speculative and metaphysical, and Gregory (q.'u.) of N azianzus, richly endowed with poetic and oratorical gifts, the finest preacher of the three. At the apex of the pyramid stands John of Antioch, Chrysostom (q.°v.), who in 387, at the age of 40, began his 12 years' ministry in his native city and in 399, the six memorable years in Constantinople, where he loved