Obrazy na stronie

for Prayse ye the lord, ye must say Laude be to the kynge of eternall glorye.” I have now merely to add a remark upon the “

the “ Appendix to the Prymer.” In this have been placed some other ancient versions of the Te Deum and other hymns: of the Lord's Prayer, and the Creed: and two Litanies. I hope they will not be unacceptable to the reader. The English calendars I consider to be of importance : and though neither of them, nor the Latin from the Enchiridion can lay claim to that very high antiquity which distinguishes many calendars which have been published by various writers, yet they have their own and especial interest. As regards the last of these, the Latin, its claim to usefulness arises from the very opposite qualities which give their value to, or stamp the age of the most venerable monuments of this kind extant; viz. in the collections of Bucherius, Pinius, and Mabillon. I shall extract from one of these authors the criteria of antiquity, offering a curious contrast to this very full and very late calendar of the Use of Sarum. “Jam vero assignari possunt varii characteres, e quibus major antiquitas kalendariorum dignoscatur : nimirum annuntiationum paucitas ; simplicitas, nuda absque elogiis ac sola fere Martyrum nomina exprimens ; nulla aut certe paucissima Deiparæ festa signata ; quadragesima nominibus

76 Pinius. Tractatus de Lit. the antiquity of the particular Antiq. Hisp. p. lxxix. Compare Martyrology which he has edited, also Baronius, in Martyrol. cap. are its simplicity, attaching the 8: and Beckius, Martyrol. Eccles. names only of the saints to their Germanicæ. p. 24. 4to. 1687. proper days; and the large numThe fourth and fifth arguments ber of vacant days in the caby which this last author supports lendar.


the sanctorum vacua; non plurium coacervatio, sed unius

tantum aut alterius sancti nomen, et prætermisso qui

dem titulo sancti aut beati ; nullæ denique vel saltem * paucissimæ per anni decursum vigiliæ in kalendariis hy notatæ ; omnia hæc et singula sacrorum fastorum

antiquitatem commendant et confirmant.” th And, but one word, as to the devotions themselves

which, in the Prymer and in the other religious books i of the same class used in England during the middle

ages, were directed to be addressed to the blessed Viri gin and to the saints.

I need scarcely say that nothing is further from my intention, than that the Prymer which I have edited, should be used in any way except as illustrating our present Book of Common Prayer, or be regarded as other than a most remarkable monument, which un

doubtedly it is, of the earlier English Church. So : looked upon, its value can scarcely be overrated. But

as to the practice to which I have just alluded, I trust that upon my part any protest cannot be thought necessary. Upon the one hand it is not for me to speak hard words of men who in those days, with all simplicity and truth and in a full reliance upon the infinite goodness of the Almighty, believed that they might properly, upon good and scriptural grounds, offer

up such petitions : it is not for me to exclaim against their superstition, their want of lively faith, their“ voluntary humility, and worshipping of angels, and intruding into things which have not been seen," neither revealed to us, but left hidden in an utter ob

scurity of doubt. But upon the other, I must say, as • I do with all thankfulness, that it was a most wise

course to remove such prayers entirely from the public service and offices of the Church of England, and from

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

all devotional books which, by her sanction, the people are allowed to use. They rested upon no scriptural authority and they contradicted the example of the first centuries, the acknowledged guides which we are bound to follow. Now, no longer worshipping we know not what, no longer praying to those who we do not believe can either hear or answer, we offer up to the Three Persons only of the Undivided Trinity, a reasonable service. May it always be so. Let us claim in every way, by which we rightly can, communion with the Invisible Church, with the Holy Angels, with the Saints and Martyrs, with all who have gone before, sealed with the seal and sign of Faith ; let us hope that they are interested in our well-doing, they now triumphant, we still militant here on earth ; let us believe that the Almighty hears our prayers for them, our assertions that we are all One Body in His blessed Son, and accepts them as tokens of our faith and love, grounded on His written word; but let us not pray to the dead Saints : praise and worship, prayer and thanksgiving are due only to Him Who sitteth upon the Throne ; let us not then, unless by a plain command from Him which cannot be doubted or denied, rob Him of that honour by giving it, without such warrant, rashly to any other.

The Prymer in English.


B В.

« PoprzedniaDalej »