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has been still more complete. In this Patriarchate the Monophysites still profess to use the ancient Liturgy of the country, which they ascribe to St. Cyril, one of the early patriarchs. It is in the Coptic language, but appears to be a translation from Greek, and is sometimes spoken of as “the Liturgy of St. Mark which Cyril perfected." Now it cannot, indeed, be said in this instance, that any thing resembling this Liturgy is still in use among the Orthodox in Egypt; however, we know, that as late as the twelfth century a Liturgy was in use among them which bore the title of St. Mark's : and very curious it is, that in a remote convent of Calabria, inhabited by oriental monks of the order of St. Basil, a Greek manuscript has been found of the tenth or eleventh century, entitled the Liturgy of St. Mark, evi. dently intended for the use of Alexandria. It contains a prayer for the raising the waters of the Nile to their just level, and another for “the holy and blessed Pope," the ancient style of the Alexandrian patriarchs : and, on comparing it with the Coptic Liturgy of the Monophysites, it is at once recognised as the same rite, except, indeed, that in a few points it approximates to the Liturgy of Constantinople.

If then it should be thought that St. Mark's Liturgy, as given in this manuscript, is the same St. Mark's Liturgy which was once in use among the Orthodox of Alexandria, we can hardly doubt that, so far as it coincides with that now in use among the Monophysites, both are anterior to the separation of the parties, i. e. more than 1383 years old.

Other Liturgies there likewise are, besides those of Antioch and Alexandria, to which we may safely assign very great antiquity. One of these, which bears the name of St. Basil's, and is now universally adopted by the Greek Church, “from the northern shore of Russia to the extremities of Abyssinia, and from the Adriatic and Baltic Seas to the farthest coast of Asia," is believed to have undergone very little alteration, from times still more remote than even the era of the Monophysite schism. A MS. of this Liturgy was found by Montfaucon in the Barbarini Library at Rome, which that profound antiquary pronounced to be above 1000 years old at the time he wrote, i. e. 124 years since, and which, consequently, was written about the time of the Council of Trullo, A. D. 691. Now, at the time of this council, we know that not so much as a doubt existed of the genuineness of the text, as it was cited by 227 Eastern Bishops, as an undoubted record of St. Basil's opinions. Their decree opens thus :-Και γάρ Βασίλειος και της Καισαρείων εκκλησίας 'Αρχιεπίσκοπος, ού το κλέος κατά πάσαν την οικουμένην διέδραμεν, γεγραφώς την μυστικών ημίν ιερουργίαν παραδέδωκεν, κ. τ. i.... If then we possess the text of St. Basil's Liturgy, such as it was when appealed to on a controverted question only 310 years after it was written, and that too by an assembly so likely to be well-informed respecting its value, we may perhaps admit its genuineness without much hesitation.

Another Liturgy, which can be traced back with tolerable certainty to very remote times, is the Roman Missal. Mr. Palmer has shown that we have abundance of materials for ascertaining the text of this Liturgy, as it stood in the time of Gregory the Great, patriarch of Rome, A. D. 590, by whom it was revised and in some parts enlarged. There also seems to be good reason for believing that one of the MSS. which has been preserved, exhibits it to us in a still earlier stage, such as it was left by Pope Gelasius, its former reviser, about 100 years before the time of Gregory. This ancient MS. was found by Thomasius in the Queen of Sweden's library. It is divided into several books, as the Gelasian Sacramentary appears to have been, and in other respects differs from that of Gregory just where history informs us the Gelasian did, It appears to have been written during, or not long after, the time of Gregory the Great, but in some remote province to which the additions and alterations introduced by that prelate had not yet penetrated. Nay, farther, learned men appear to agree that there exists a MS. still more ancient than this, from which the canon of the mass may be ascertained, as it stood before the revisal of Gelasius, even so long back as the time of Leo the Great, i. e. as early as the Monophysite schism. This MS. was found in the library of the Chapter of Verona, and its merits have been very minutely canvassed by the most learned antiquaries. It also deserves to be noticed, that at the time




when the Roman Liturgy was undergoing these successive revisals, a tradition all along prevailed, attributing to one part of it an apostolic origin; and that this part does not appear to have undergone any change whatever. Vigilius, who was Pope between the times of Gelasius and Gregory, tells us that the "canonical prayers," or what are now called the “Canon of the Mass,” had been “handed down as an apostolical tradition.” And much earlier we hear the same from Pope Innocent, who adds that the Apostle from whom they derived it was St. Peter.

On the whole, then, it appears that of the existing Liturgies, one, viz. that of St. Basil, can be traced with tolerable certainty to the fourth century, and three others to the middle of the fifth; and that respecting these three a tradition prevailed, ascribing one of them to the Apostle St. James, another to St. Mark, and the third to St. Peter.

But curious as these results are, those which follow from comparing the above Liturgies with others now existing, and with one another, are still more curious. The Liturgies of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch, differ so materially as compositions, that neither can with any reason be supposed to have been taken from the other; it is however true, with a singular exception, to be presently noticed, that no other Liturgy either exists now or ever appears to have existed, which is not a copy from one or other of them. The Liturgy of St. Basil, striking as are some of the features in which it differs from that of Antioch, is, nevertheless, evidently a superstructure raised on that basis : the composition of both is the same, i. e. the parts which they have in common follow in the same order. The same may be said of the Constantinopolitan Liturgy, commonly attributed to St. Chrysostom, of that of the Armenian Church, and of the florid and verbose compositions in use among the Nestorians of Mesopotamia. So that the Liturgy of Antioch, commonly attributed to St. James, appears to be the basis of all the oriental Liturgies. In the same manner a remarkable correspondence subsists between the Liturgy of Ethiopia and the Alexandrian Liturgy attributed to St. Mark. And so likewise the ancient Liturgies of Milan, and of Roman Africa, which last indeed has not been preserved, and can only be collected from the writings of the Fathers, are characterized by the marked peculiarities of the Roman Missal of St. Peter. The exception which I above noticed, is the ancient Gothic Liturgy of Gaul and Spain, which from the fragments that have been preserved of it, appears to have agreed in composition with neither of the three ; but to have been an independent rite ; and this Liturgy, Mr. Palmer, by a very curious argument, traces to the Apostle St. John. Here, then, we arrive at one remarkable result: it appears, from all we can learn, that throughout the whole world, there neither exist now, nor ever have existed, more than four independent forms of Liturgy; a circumstance which, of itself, gives some credibility to the supposition otherwise suggested, that these four were of Apostolic origin.

The confirmation of this supposition, which results from comparing the four independent rites, is, if possible, still more remarkable. For while, on the one hand, the diversity of the compositions proves that their authors, whoever they were, did not feel bound to copy, either from the other, or from any common original ; so the identity of the matter proves that they were exactly agreed in sentiment, and intimately conversant with each other's babits of thought. Had these Liturgies resembled one another less, we might have attributed them to sources wholly independent, to the influence of any four great minds, which may have arisen at different times, and acquired ascendency in their own regions of Christendom. Had they differed less, it might have been supposable that some single Saint, though not an Apostle, some Ambrose, or Athanasius, or Cyprian, might gradually have extended his religious influence still more universally. Though, even so, great difficulties would have attended either supposition. As it is, however, we have to look for four persons, each with predominating influence in distinct and distant portions of the world ; yet, all so united in thought as to make it certain they had been educated in the same school. Nothing less than this will account at once for the resemblances and differences of the four ancient Liturgies; and this it would be vain to look for after the Apostolic age.



Such is the general character of the argument resulting from a comparison of these curious documents, each of which can independently be traced back to the middle of the fifth century, and which appear, at that time, to have commanded the same exclusive respect as at present.

To institute the comparison here in such a manner as to enable the reader to judge for himself, is, of course, out of the question, involving as it does very minute and extensive researches. The following particulars, however, may perhaps be not altogether uninteresting, however incomplete.


I. It appears from Mr. Palmer's valuable work, that all the ancient Liturgies now existing, or which can be proved ever to have existed, resemble one another in the following points :

(1.) All of them direct, that previous to communion, those who intend to communicate shall exchange "the kiss of peace."

(2.) In all of them, the more particularly solemn part of the service commences with words exactly answering to the English, "Lift up your hearts," &c. as far as “ HOLY FATHER, almighty everlasting God."

(3.) All contain the Hymn, “ Therefore with Angels and Archangels," &c. with very trifling varieties of expression.

(4.) Also, they all contain a Prayer, answering in substance to ours for the whole state of Christ's Church militant:"

(5.) And likewise another Prayer (which has been excluded from the English Ritual) “ for the rest and peace of all those who have departed this life in God's faith and fear;" concluding with a Prayer for communion with them.

(6.) Also a commemoration of our Lord's words and actions in the institution of the Eucharist, which is the same, alınost word for word, in every Liturgy, but is not taken from any of the four Scripture accounts.

(7.) A sacrificial oblation of the Eucharistic bread and wine.

(8.) A prayer of consecration, that God will make the bread and wine the Body and Blood of Christ."

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