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It is true, that there are verbal differences, arising from the inaccuracy of transcribers; that the older MSS. contain no rubrics, and the new contain many; that some churches have even invented and introduced prayers and rites which others have not: that some MSS. contain only the prayers for the use of the priest, and others, those of the priest, deacon, and people. But such varieties as these only confirm the antiquity of the text used by the officiating minister, which is preserved in all without any corruption or mutilation. The edition of Morell is taken from a more modern MS. than that of Erasmus, and therefore it contains more rubrics, and a few other recent additions. But this is the only difference. The main body of the liturgy is exactly the same in both, the rites identical, the ancient prayers word for word the same. As to the objection of Hales, that certain forms and prayers at the beginning and end of this liturgy were more recent than the time of Chrysostom, it may be remarked, that these forms and prayers are not found in the more ancient MSS. of Chrysostom's liturgy. We have therefore no right to charge the text with them, and accuse the whole of novelty. With regard to the other argument of Hales, that certain prayers are not found in this liturgy which were used in the liturgy in the time of Chrysostom; I have only to observe, that Montfaucon and other able critics have determined that the works in which these occur were written at Antioch before Chrysostom went to Constantinople, and therefore
f The liturgy of Chrysostom, with a version said to have been made by Erasmus, was
published at Paris, 1537. 8vo. The edition of Morell was published at Paris, 1560.
they bear no relation to the liturgy of Constantinople. In conclusion, I must repeat my opinion, that the text of Chrysostom's liturgy can be satisfactorily ascertained.
It would be unnecessary repetition to detail the order of the part of Chrysostom's liturgy which follows the dismissal of the catechumens, for it is identical with that of Basil, to which I must refer the reader. The difference between this part of the liturgies of Basil and Chrysostom is caused by greater fulness of idea in one than in the other, but by nothing else.
Since the liturgy of Chrysostom professes by its name to be the peculiar liturgy of the church of Constantinople, and since it has been used there and in the surrounding churches from time immemorial, we may naturally expect that some notices relative to its order and substance may be found amongst the writings of the Fathers who lived in that vicinity. It is remarkable, that scarcely any writers of eminence lived in the neighbourhood of Constantinople or in Greece for the first five or six centuries. However, we shall find in the few works which were written during this period, and in these districts, some allusions which establish the antiquity of the order and substance of Chrysostom's liturgy. Severianus, bishop of Gabala, to whom Chrysostom intrusted the care of the church of Constantinople during his own absence, is said by critics to have preached in that city a homily on the parable of the Prodigal Son, which appears among Chrysostom's works. In this homily he speaks in an ornamental
8 See the last section.
and figurative style of several parts of the liturgy. He notices successively the proclamation of the deacons to the catechumens, &c. to depart out of the church, the hymn Tersanctus, and the Lord's Prayer, said at the altar". Chrysostom himself, in works written after his elevation to the patriarchal chair of Constantinople, speaks of the form Sursum corda, &c. of the hymn Tersanctus', of the prayers or oblation for the church, &c. *, and of the form Sancta sanctis'. However few these notices may be, yet, as they agree with the substance and order of Chrysostom's liturgy, and as no opposing testimonies seem to exist, we may regard them as sufficient to prove that the same order and substance of liturgy prevailed in the fourth century at Constantinople, as in subsequent ages. I would not be understood to affirm positively that the whole text is so ancient, nor that all the rites ascend to that century, because there is reasonable ground for doubt with regard to certain parts; but I think we may justly consider the main substance and order to be as old as the fourth century. If such a form of liturgy was used at Constantinople in the fourth century, it is very probable that it may have been used also in the neighbouring churches. In fact, we find that all the churches of Thrace, Macedonia, and Greece, have from time immemorial used this very liturgy of Chrysostom. Had these churches ever used a dif
See tom. vi. Oper. Chrysost. p. 375. 377. edit. Front. Ducæi vel Commelini.
i Hom. xxii. in Epistolam ad Hebræos, p. 1898, tom. x.
j Hom. xiv. in Hebr. p. 1852,
tom. x. Hom. xxiv. in Act. Apost. tom. viii. p. 627.
*k Hom. xxi. in Act. Apost. tom. viii. p. 606.
1 Hom. xvii. in Hebr. p. 1872, tom. x.
ferent species of formulary, they would not have relinquished it without leaving some sign or vestige of their original liturgy, some tradition that a different formulary had once been used, or some trace of difficulty or opposition in the reception of a new rite. The liturgy of Constantinople, however, seems to have been received by all as a thing neither strange nor new; but, on the contrary, as representing that rite which they and their predecessors had received in long succession from the most primitive times. It seems to have been considered of Apostolical antiquity in the time of Leontius of Byzantium, A.D. 590, who speaks of two Liturgies used at that time in the Church; viz., "that of the Apostles" (apparently referring to what is now called the Liturgy of Chrysostom)," and that of the great Basilm"
I will now close this section with some few remarks on what may be justly called the great oriental liturgy. In the first section I have shewn that a certain form of liturgy prevailed in the fourth century from Arabia to Cappadocia, and from the Mediterranean sea to the other side of the Euphrates; and that this form could be traced nearly up to the apostolical age. In the second section. we have seen, that the same form of liturgy prevailed in the fourth century through the greater part of Asia Minor, where it had existed from time immemorial. In the present section we have learned, that the same form of liturgy was used in Thrace in the fourth century; and that it seems to have existed there, and in Macedonia and Greece, from time immemorial.
m See above, p. 46.
When I reflect on the vast extent of these countries, the independence of the churches which existed there, the power which each bishop had of improving the liturgy of his church, the circumstantial varieties which we find between the liturgies of these churches, and yet the substantial identity of all; it seems to me difficult, if not impossible, to account for this identity and uniformity in any other manner, than by supposing that the Apostles themselves had originated the oriental liturgy, and communicated it to all those churches at their very foundation. The uniformity between these liturgies, as extant in the fourth or fifth century, is such as bespeaks a common origin. Their diversity is such as to prove the remoteness of the period at which they were originated. To what remote period can we refer as exhibiting a perfect general uniformity of liturgy, except to the apostolic age? Let us remember also, that existing documents of the second century enable us to trace this liturgy to that period; and that in the time of Justin Martyr (to whose writings I allude) the Christian church was only removed by one link from the Apostles themselves.