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Archbishop Usher, who is followed by bishop Stillingfleet, and many other writers, says, that we read in an anonymous book on the origin of ecclesiastical offices, written nine hundred (eleven hundred) years ago, that Germanus and Lupus introduced the “ ordinem cursus Gallorum," or Gallican liturgy, into Britain”. After carefully examining the tract referred to by the archbishop, I profess myself unable to perceive that any such assertion is made. It appears to me even, that this anonymous Irish author, if he alludes at all to the British liturgy, must be understood to say that it was different from the ancient Gallican. He says that John the Evangelist first chanted the Gallican course or liturgy; but the course of the Scoti or Irish, he traces to St. Mark. The latter course, according to him, was brought to Gaul by Cassian, and being received in the monastery of Lerins, was used by Germanus and Lupus, who preached in Britain and Ireland, and constituted a bishop named Patrick archbishop in those countries'. It seems then, that this author considered the Gallican and Irish courses different; and if we were to understand him to allude to the rites of the British church, when he says that Patrick was constituted archbishop in Britain and Ireland, and there chanted the same course which he had learned from Germanus and Lupus, we should only learn that the British rites agreed with the Irish, and therefore differed from those of Gaul.


a Usserii Britannicar. Eccl. b. Vid. Spelman, Concilia, Antiq. c. xi. p. 185. ed. Lond. tom. i. p. 176, 177. Lond. 1687. Stillingfleet, Origines 1639. Britann. c. iv. p. 216. ed. Lond. c Ibid. p. 177. 1685.



But, in truth, I do not see that the anonymous author in that place necessarily refers to the British liturgy; and there are some circumstances which induce me to think that he does not. It seems probable that the Irish liturgy, from the time of Patrick, A.D. 432, did not differ very much from the ancient Roman, but that the British did. I shall presently give my reasons for thinking the ancient Roman and Irish not very unlike. That the Roman and British differed greatly, is proved by the words of Augustine, first archbishop of Canterbury, as given by Bede. He addressed the British bishops in the following terms: “In many respects you act “ in a manner contrary to our customs, and indeed “ to those of the universal church : and yet if you “ will obey me in these three things; to celebrate “ Easter at the proper time; to perform the office “of baptism, in which we are born again to God, “according to the custom of the holy Roman and “apostolical church; and with us to preach the “ word of God to the English nation; we will tole“rate all your other customs, though contrary to

our own." In these last words it seems to me, that there is enough to warrant our holding the opinion, that the Roman and British liturgies were

contrary,” or different. Another proof that the British liturgy differed from the Irish after the time

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“ Dicebat autem eis, quia tæ Romanæ et Apostolicæ Ecin multis quidem nostræ con- clesiæ compleatis ; et genti Ansuetudini, immo universalis glorum una nobiscum verbum Ecclesiæ, contraria geritis : et Domini prædicetis : cætera quæ tamen si in tribus his mihi ob- agitis, quamvis moribus nostris temperare vultis; ut Pascha contraria, æquanimiter cuncta suo tempore celebretis ; ut mi- tolerabimus." Bed. Histor. Ecnisterium baptizandi, quo Deo cles. lib. i. c. 2. renascimur, juxta morem sanc

of Patrick, (and therefore probably from the Roman, as we shall see hereafter,) is afforded by the very ancient catalogue of the saints of Ireland, probably written in the seventh century, and published by archbishop Usher. This document informs us that for some time after Patrick, the Irish had only one liturgy, but that then a second was introduced by the bishop David, and Gildas and Cadoc, Britons ; and from that time different liturgies were used by the saints of Ireland David, Gildas, and Cadoc,

, lived in the sixth century; and, if we give credit to this ancient writer, it appears that the British and Irish liturgies were different up to that period. Assuming then, for the present, that the Irish liturgy from the time of Patrick was nearly the same as the Roman, we are led to the conclusion, that the British differed from the Roman, which is in fact almost expressly affirmed by Augustine,

But what then could the ancient British liturgy have been? In reply to this question I would remark, that we have no trace or record of more than two primitive liturgies in the west. These were the Roman and the Gallican. The latter was used in Gaul and Spain, from a period of remote antiquity. If the British clergy originally derived their orders from the nearest Christian province, namely, from Gaul, they would also probably use the Gallican liturgy; and if this was the case, the British liturgy in subsequent ages would have been different from the Roman and the Irish, as we have seen that it

I do not mean to enter on a consideration of the time when Christianity penetrated into Britain.


e Usserii Britan. Eccles. Antiq. c. xviii. p. 473, 474.

There may have been Christians in this country in the apostolic age, or shortly after. Britain, though so much more remote from the great scene of apostolic preaching than Gaul, may possibly have received some rays from the Gospel before that country. It is even not impossible that Eleutherius of Rome may have written to Lucius, a British chief, or that Bran, the father of Caractacus, may have received Christianity at Rome during the lifetime of the apostles, and converted some of his fellowcountrymen on his return to Britain. All this may or may not be true; but I do not see that there is any proof, or strong presumption, that the British bishops originally derived their orders from Rome. It is infinitely more probable that they were ordained in Gaul. When there is no sort of authentic history or tradition, that the first British bishops were consecrated at Rome, we are at once led to the conclusion that the simple natural course was adopted, and that the bishops of Gaul (the nearest province) ordained the first bishops of the British church. Certainly there is nothing in the ecclesiastical history of the two countries to oppose such an idea. We do not read of bishops in Britain before there were any in Gaul; on the contrary, while we know that the church of Lyons was ruled by bishops in the second century, we hear of no British bishops until early in the fourth. I do not say that regular churches may not have existed in this country from a much more remote period; but the simple fact is, that there are much more ancient accounts of the apostolical succession of orders in Gaul than in Britain. I do not see any thing therefore to oppose the idea, that the British bishops were first ordained

in Gaul; and if so, they probably received the Gallican liturgy, which being different from the Roman and the Irish after the time of Patrick, would exactly meet the few notices which antiquity supplies, as to the nature of the liturgy used in Britain.

The liturgy of Ireland during the first ages was probably the same as that used in Britain, because it is likely that any presbyters who may have come to the former country were sent thither by the British church. Christianity had certainly penetrated into Ireland long before the time of Patrick; though this holy bishop, from his arduous and successful labours in that island, merited and received the title of “ Apostle of the Irish ;” and as there seems to be no authentic account of the original source from whence Christianity had come to Ireland, the mere geographical position of that country, in relation to its sister island, would induce us to think that the former must have received religion and ecclesiastical rites from the latter.

In the time of Patrick, however, a great change took place in the state of Christianity in Ireland. Religion spread into all parts, many bishoprics were founded, and the church arose from a state of infancy, and assumed that regular and apostolical form which has continued ever since. No monument of the ancient Irish liturgy was known to exist, until Dr. O'Conor, a few years ago, published an account of one which is in the duke of Buckingham's library at Stowe'. The writing of this MS. according to the specimen of it given by

Dr. O'Conor's remarks on talogue of MSS. in Stowe lithis manuscript occur in his brary, A.D. 1819. Appendix to vol. i. of the Ca

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