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T. p. 309. solve the Penitent, no Confesor dare pretend to do it himself. And in every
one of those which Goar hath added out of Allatius and other MSS. the Ab. solution is only ascribed to God, and beg'd from him alone. It is very remark
able that in those Prayers in the Euchologium, and in those others which are Joh. 20. 23. added there, Christ's words are inserted at least six or seven times, (whose Sins
you remit, upon which the Papists ground their Absolution of the Priest) yet the Prayers are continued Itill on to God alone, to Forgive and Absolve; The Confessor no where attributes any thing of it to himlelf; Nay, in that large Form or Office, which we have pretcribed in Goar, the Confessor, as I have noted before, is obliged plainly to say, óx igców, I am not able to remit Sins on Earth, but it is God that Pardons them; or except God Pardons them.
Yet even there are Christ's words inserted also, whose Sins ye remit; by all T. D. 310.
which it is plain to me that the Grecks understood those words of Christ, not as if the Priest or Confessor should have thereby a Power or Authority to himself to Abfolve, but that he should only have a Privilege thereby to beg the Penitents Absolution from God alone; and the words are looked upon as God Almighty's Promise upon their Prayers to hear them according to the true inward Repentance of the Sipper, of which only God himself is Judge. I have already said that this was all the way of Confession and Absolution according to Chrysostom, and I am much confirmed in my Opinion, for Goar hath obliged us with one of Chrysostom's Prayers to this very purpose. The good Father Instancing in many of the Penitent Sinuers, who are recorded in Scripture as forgiven by God, and appealing to God's Promile, (Thou hast said, Confess your Sins one to another, as thou hast Called, or lovited, us, so thou art Faithfull and Just to forgive us all things, and to cleanse us from all Defilements of Flesh and Spirit,) he concludes thus, thou all Good, and all Mercifull Lord, forgive this my spiritual Son, N. N. both in this World and in that which is to come, all those things which he with a contrite Heart hath before thee Confessed to my, traxıéon, meaness, and count him worthy to stand uncondemned before thee, who art blessed for ever. Amen. Here he supposed a contrite Heart in his Penitent, and on that Condition he prayed for him, but he leaves God, before whom all is known and done, to be the only Judge, and arrogated no Judiciary Authority to himself as Priest or Con. fesor. i have many more such Deprecative Absolutions, in my Más. I thall instance in some of them, though all, as to this Point, are of the same nature. In one for an A postate who had denied the Christian Faith and afterwards return'd. First the Perlon's Age and bis Condition and the Circumstances of his Apostacy are considered; then the Canon is proportioned to the Crime. Then follow's the Prayer, zaud & xúệt s bus đi xeigeus 8. 7/7 art tbox 0 Lord, and Right are thy Judgments. After the Preface follows, dzóueta xj izétévouer, -uvó ag na Tô éreb 08, we pray and beseech thee remember Mercy, passing by our human transgressions, Pardon us every Fault ; - Thou, as our Good and Mercifull Lord and lover of Mankind, "Aves, apes, trágide, journágrov, Release, Remit, pass by, Forgive our Transgressions, xj in noglons unda ticéasas eis xgiois, and come not to account, nor enter into Judgment with thy Servant,
for in thy sight shall no Man living be Justified. Then are read Pfalm 51. Ut fupr. C. 30
the 38. and 103. (So in Theodulphus Capitulare are read upon the like ac
51. & 32.) Then follows another Prayer, AO TOTO xúgie é θεός ημών, ο Lord our God, και τας κλεις της βασιλείας σε, ωlio baft entrufted Peter, the chief of the Apostles with the Keys of thy Kingdom, and built thy Church upon him, and given him Power to bind and loose upon Earth, Hear us who call upon thee though unworthily év Tæ incoueño, for, or in, the Reconciliation, or Propitiation, of thy Servant here present, and, Jauciaçwoor, make thy Mercies Wonderfull upon him ; – Thou, 7 lover of Men, turn not this thy Servant, here present, away, who begs Atonement, or Reconcilia
tion, from thee, but look upon him in Mercy, and in Compassion call him Nomoran . D. back, for thou art the God of those who repent. This is the order of Me
Nomocan. P: 452.
thodius Patriarch of Constantinople, it is most likely to be made by the first T. p. 310. of that name, who according to Onuphrius's Catalogue was about the Year 842, for the second Methodius was in but three Months. I find this last Praycr of Methodius mention’d by Arcudius, but that is patcht up; for in mine 1. 4. p. 434. b. there is no, ego té absolvo, I abfolve gou. There is a deprecatory Abfolution much after this manner in Goar, bat it is in many things larger, in fome ex-685. pressions fhorter ; and, di fuộ TS TO TEVB dó18 08 quy xógroov, Pardon him by T. p. 311. me thy humble Servant, is foisted in there, for it is not in' mine or in any other MS. which I have seen, as shall be by and by farther noted. It is still
very remarkable to me, that here again both in this Prayer and in that of Goar's the Power of the Keys, and St. Peter's Authority in tying and loosing should be mention'd in the Preface, and yet the following Prayer thould be made to God alone to Absolve and Forgive the offender. I have an entire Office to Absolve an Apostate Monk, if he returns to his Profession. There are in MS. A. 42 ir, instead of a Priest's Absolutiot, these very devout Prayers to God for him; The first, xúgle ó geds ó nay rougé top ó Féxwv, O Lord God Almighty who would. eft every Man to be saved, we Pray and beseech thee Receive this thy Servant N: N. then follow at least a dozen more Petitions for his Pardon and Reftitution. The second begins; o xníves ogznes xj naroba's, O Tholi who didft bow the Heaven's and camest down through thy Love towards Mankind, -Thou O Lord, thou lover of Men receive thy loft Sheep, N.N. -As our good Sheepherd save him ---- Receive him and number him amongst those who worthily serve thee, in this Angelick state of Life. The third begins, xúgie o gios ó naitoxgétrop ó MGL TO TÉLeab as, O Lord God Almighty who sent down thy All holy Spirit upon thy Holy Apostles:-— and who hath turned' thy Servant N.N from the error of Darkness-_Thou, O Lord, thou lover of Meri, are stičov, make, or delare, him' a chosen Vesel, and adorai liim with Virtues, grant that he may always walk according to thy will. These prayers suppose the Penitene hath the necessary qualifications of true Repentance, and accordingly it is expreft in the firft and fecond, by επιστρέφοντα και μετανούντα γνησίως, and e Equador sleevor, Returning and Repenting, sincerely, and thoroughly Coisfelling; for according to the Larins themselves, Abfolution, which follow's Confesion, suppose it to be true and sincere and Compleat, yet that point mult still remain at best only Conjectural, as shall be more fully difcuft by and by. I have those two which are in Goar and a third, not yet Printed, to the p. 674. MS. A. fame purpose; There is great variety of readings in them, but all are Depreca: 47. 8. 46. B. tive to God alone.
I will give you another Absolution of a dead Man Excommunicated, which is to be laid by the Prelate, because it is of a singular composure, and I will 76 conceal nothing from the curious Reader, “Η ταπεινότης ημών δια της χάριτG- δοθείons, Our Humility, by the Grace given to it, from the All holy Spirit, cuyo xwghou ooh tô xexolunuévw dóna, N. N. will forgive thee, N.N a Servant whe haft slept, (or been Dead) all things wherein thou' haft Sinned from thy Youth to thy lives end. Then several general Sins are at large reckond up Then, å ta zevótus specão, Our humility through the infinite Compallion of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ who suffered for 15 Sinners, will Forgive thee our xwgroei ool) both in this world and that which is to come, and moreover it (our Humilities) frays for you, translaté him'to divell in a light some place, and so forth as in the Exequies in 'Goar, that you may p. 526 be counted worthy, in the hour of Judgment, to stand on the right hand of our Saviour, by the Intercessions of our all pure Lady and all Saints, by the Mercy and Compasions and the love to Man. of thy only begotten Sori our Lord Jesus Christ. This Prayer ‘is in vulgar Greek, very fallly written, and is as if it had been parche together; in some places something is two much, in others something left out, so as we cannot make cither Sense or Concord. It is plain however that the Prelate doth not take this Pardon 'wholly upon him, felf, but prays for it to God by the Mercy and Compassion of Christ.
T. p. 312. Nomocon. MS.
I will add one more of Maximus Patriarch and Confessor ( as he is stiled) for the same purpose. O Lord Jesus Christ and Word of God, being of one Substance and most Compassionate — who haft granted to thy holy Apostles the Gift and Grace to bind and to loose the Sins of Men, saying, receive the Holy Ghost, &c. and the quickening Spirit descending successively from them to us—Thou 0 Just and most compassionate God, pardoning the Sins of thy Servant N. N. —- Make (or cause) his miserable Body to be defolved into those things out of which it was composed; and we trusting in ( Gepg8VTES, O encouraged by.) thy Compassion and Grace do loose him from the burden and band wich lie upon him — and we Pardon and Abfolve by thy Power and Grace, if only thou consentest from above; bear us Sinners and thy humble Servants and be not angry with us, as magugyi(804, as if we trifled with (or carefly solicited) thy Goodness; for not trusting in our own Righteousness and Virtue (for they are not in us) but looking upon thy Goodness, we beseech thee glorify thy Church; And by this Grace, as by many Miracles thou hast glorified it, disolve, O Lord, his Body entirely; and if thout looses thy aforesaid Servant. N. N. his Body from this band, passing by his Sins, and shouldest count him worthy af the Portion of those who are saved, thou will do thy own work, and the work of thy Love to Man forbearing evil. So be it by the intercessions of the Mother which bare thee, and of all the Saints. I find in Onuphrius's Caralogue of the Patriarchs of Constantinople but three called Maximus; the first was an Arian, Anno. 381. and therefore he cannot well be luppoied to be the Author of this; the second who perhaps composed it, lived Apno. 1215. I rather think it was the third, Anno 1480. It suits well enough with that Agc, and favours of no very great Antiquity by inserting (as in the former) by the Intercessions of the Virgin Mary and the Saints. Bue lec the Latins inake what use they can of it; if they insist upon those words, we Pardon and Absolve, let them remember these words are spoken in general, and their Abrojution is not made absolutely and positively, but by his Power and Grace, and only conditionally, if he, é rivével
, asserts from above. There are two principal Points in the Prayer, to dissolve the Body, and to forgive the Excommunicated Perfon his Sins; Now the Patriarch can no more pretend by his Auihori. ty to forgive his Sins, then he can pretend to dissolve the Body; and therefore he only prays to God for both alike. The opinion of the Greeks, that
the Body of an Excommunicated Person, (who is still as they think capaP. 74. 75. ble of being saved,) will not consume till be be Abfolved, very much
prevails amongst them to this very day, of which I thall at large discourse in a more proper place. Crusius hath a wonderfull Story of a dead Body miraculously
dissolved by the Patriarch's reading, the eux l' our xwgntıxle the Abfolutory Prayer over him; to which Custom this Prayer alludes. I shall here make this short Reflection upon it; If you believe that this Excommunicated Body was by the Patriarch's Prayer dissolved then ; it is well known that sometimes this prayer is ineffectual; for the Body after the prayer now will not always crumble to pieces, which plainly tells me that the Patriarch's Prayer or Authority of it felf, can no more Pardon and Abfolve the Soul, then it can Disolve the Body; it fometimes prevaild with God for neither; and therefore whilst I lived amongst them, I dever knew it tried, but upon occasion (as lh all elsewhere be said) the Body hath been taken up and cut in pieces and Ipriokled with holy Water, and after the Prayer laid in a new grave.
I will conclude with an Absolutory Prayer which is to be said (over the Nomocan. P:
Head of any one who designs to take the holy Communion) by the Prelate, or Confesor or Priest. O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, as also thou Word of the living God. Κύριε ινσ χρισε ο θεός ημών ως και λόγε τα 9.8
αυτός άνες, , άφες, συγχώρησον τας αμαρτίας, -Release, Remit, Forgive the Sins and Ini. quities which have been committed by thy Servant, N. N. then is repeated a long Catalogue of Sins, of at least thirty or forty lines, and immediately
Turco. Grac. p. 27.
follow, from all these and the like grievous things, deliver thy Servant, N. N. T. p. 313. O Lord thou lover of Men —have Mercy and Pardon him all;—- for this, CONC, wretch hath in the presence of thy Kingdom confeft that he hath done these and many more ; and for thy Mercy hear me thy Servant ; -and make him heir of the Eternal good things with all those who have ever pleased thee ; and count him worthy, á xe taxgítws, uncondemned to partake of thy dreadfull Mysteries; for thou hast jard, O Lord, what things foever ye Shall bind on Earth, &c. for thou only art without Sin, and art able to remit Sins, and to thee, agétre, belong Glory, Honour and Worship, &c. for ever and ever, Amen. Who made this Prayer I know not, but by the Stile and words it is undoubtedly antient, for the phrase is all old accurate Scholastick Greek, and it is purely after Chryfoftom's way, and without mention of the Virgin Mary's Intercessions ; but here are all the Sins reckon'd up which we find in the Catalogues above mention'd out of my Canonaria, and therefore I cappot think it fo old as Chrysostom; yet it seems to be a far better way
of managing Confessions theo those I have noted above, all those Sins being particularly fee down here, and the Confessor prays for the Penitents' Absolution from them and all such like; which may fuic with all Capacities, as well those who are able to recount their Sins, as those of meanest understanding. I question pot but that this very Prayer hath been and is yet of common use with those that have it; though some Confessors may have some other, or perhaps, as I have said, a peculiar one of their own. And here I cannot but again take Notice, that Christ's words, whose Sins you remit, &c. feem plainly to be Interpreted by them, as if the Apostles were order'd thereby only to pray for God's Absolution, and not to pretend to any of their own; nay, the Confessor here is obliged to pray for himself, that God in Mercy would hear him, and so Absolve the Penitent, koowing that his Prayer would do the Penitent no good, if God heard him not, much leis would his own Abfolution signify any thing. My Venetiap Confesionary upbraids the Greeks for their carelessness, and not p. 10. coming to their Confessor some good time before they receive the Communion, but they stay, faith the Author, almost to the last hour; If a Penitent hath well examin'd himself before and folemnly resolved to repent, and comes with a forrowfuil and sincere heart that very day, nay that very hour, when he intends to Communicate, and begs his Confessor to pray for him, furely this Pray. er (which is a very excellent and fervent one) on these previous conditions, devoutly said over him, will be a very good Preparation for his coming to the Lord's Table.
Chryfoftom's absolutory Prayer is without all dispure confesedly Genuine ; but these oiher are of later dates, and of different compositions, yet all, as I bave noted, are purely, and only, deprecatory Absolutions. I thought it would be two large a task to set them all entirely down, and therefore I only took out of them the most material Expressions, which I have done most faithfully, without concealing or altering any thing which might seem to favour the Latins; I must confess I believe that they may have been by degrees depraved (as most things elfe amongst the Greeks have manifestly been, ) and perhaps by Larin Emissaries they have been blended by little and little in favour of their Cause; my reason is this, because I find (in them, especially ) that Goar (who once lived amongst them) upon every occasion almost sophisticate and play tricks with the Greeks Custom and Constitutions, that they may give them a Latin Countenance and Complexion. I have that Prayer for a dead Man Excommunicated, which Goar gives us; in his after, orxagroov aut@, Pardon him,
T. p. 3142 are crowded in, di due to emagtars x avačiose de on, by me a Sinner and P 085. thy unworthy Servant, avd many other things which are not in mine. So in another which is to be said by the Confeffor, after, our googão autão Par. Nomes. P. 796 doning him, is crampe in, di fuộ Tô évažio dó28 08, by me thy unworthy Ser. want, which is not in my old Copy; and I shrewdly suspect these words in Ms. p. 1. p. the Prayer quoted out of Allatius's MS. did tñs xuñs ava Eió tntcs by my Un- 23. b.
T. p. 314. worthinefs, have been in like manner patcht in. However he is so ingenunus
as to confess that in the Prayer, ó geds, ó ourxoghous Aabid, O Lord who didt pardon David, after our tueron ou may Pardon thee, the words & élő å ungTwiãg by me a Sinner, are added, for in his notes upon the place, he owns that they are not found in any MS or Printed Copies; and unawares he there discovers the Mystery of all this; it is to hook in the Priest's Authority to Absolve, and his pretended judiciary Power, as if he had received it froin God. So in his pores he would tack tò aveo, áo:s, Release, Remit, Forgive, di fuo, by me, and iostead of, tớ nóyw nuflcīcu, to be disolved by thy word, (thy fiar,) he would read ir, Tŵ rówo je, by my word; and it is ten to one that there may be by this time fome Copics found with those readings. Yet if we should grapt that, di&uē, by me, was Authentick and Genuine; nay, that it was in all these Prayers, I do not see how yet he would gain his point thereby; for, by me, mult plainly then signify no more then, Pardon him or Ab
solve him by my Prayers, O God, which I beg of thee in Mercy to hear. p. 676.
This is far enough from, ego te Absolvo, I absolve thee. When he had confest, that this Form, I absolve thee, is not five hundred years old, it is wonderfull to see how he there fhuffles and stretch his Wits to make these Absolutory Prayers of the Greeks and that Latin Form all one. So as to these Expreffions, émew of suy2exagnuévov, I hold you Pardon'd, and, in vulgar Greek, às con OuyXwgenév @, by you, or may you be, Pardon'd, (which are meer Forms of his own devising, and used by no Greek that I could observe or hear of, ) he would have them be perfectly the same with this, I Pardon, that is, Absolve you.
He there commends the Greeks modesty in administring the Sacrament, for their using the passive Voice thus, the Servant of God, N. N. Battiset ry, is Baptized, zgiętay, is Anointed, and the like, pe minister eorum Authòricatis quicquam circa illa fibi irroget, least he, faith he, who administers the Sacraments Mould take upon himself, or arrogate to himself, any Authorito from them. And he prailes the Prelates meek condescention, in not saying blunt. ly, I hold you Pardon'd, but my Humility or my Meanness hold you Pardon'd. It would have been well if he could have produced fome fuch authentick Forins (out of the Euchologium or elsewhere) as, my Humility, my Meanness, hold you Pardon'd, or doth Pardon you; I never met with any thing like it, except that one which, I have fairly given you above ; and in it is twice written,
our xwgate, in the future tenie, our Humility will Pardon; but if (as in a 1. p. 315. hundred places of that MS and in common pronuntiation amongst the present
Greeks, ei, ey, and, as, ay, and y, ee, are promiscuously used one for the other, and founded, as E.) If, 1 say, the word should be read ourxaghocu Synchorese in the optative mood, it would be purely deprecative, may our humility Pardon you; and the Sense would be then clear and entire, may our humility Pardon you by the Grace given to it; and again, may our Humility Pardon you through the Infinite Compassion of the great God, &c. and moreover it prays,
(that is, I pray) for you, &c. U supra.
I shall with Goar most heartily commend the Modefty, shall I say, or rather the Reverence of the Greeks in this point of Absolution; I wish I could do as much for the Latios. The Greeks humbly pray to God (to whom alone it belongs ) to forgive their Penitents; The Latins arrogate chat Power to themselves, and erect a Judiciary Court and boldly pretend to Christ's Commission for it. Yer it is very observable how the Latins diffcr amongst them. felves, in this point. The Council of Trent positively make the words, I ab. folve thee, the very Form of this pretended Sacramcor, in qua præcipuè ejus vis sita est, in which the Power, or Efficacy, of it is chiefly placed; Prayer's may be added, but they are not any ways Esential or Necessary to the Ad
ministration of it. The Greeks are for Prayers only, or for begging Abfolu676. tion from God alone. Goar tells us, I hold you Absolved, or be you Abfol. Medul. de Pæ. ved, is all one with, I Absolve you. Bufenbaum makes, Abfolvó te, I Abnit. 1. 6. C. 1. folve thee, the only Form; and faith thar this, Abfolvat te Christus, may
Labb. T. 14. 3,6. e.