« PoprzedniaDalej »
commencement of the Intercessory part of the Litany.
Under the term magistrates we include not only those persons who are specially so called, but all who are invested with authority for maintaining the laws, and administering the Government.
'To beat down Satan under our feet.' This expression is taken from Romans xvi. 20: 'And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly;' in which there seems to be an allusion to the promise made to our first parents at the fall.
'Sins, negligences, and ignorances.' Here our offences are divided into three classes: those which we commit wilfully, those which we commit from carelessness, and those which we commit unwittingly, our 'secret sins,' as David calls them.
'O Lamb of God,' &c. From John i. 29. 'O Lord, deal not with us,' &c. Psalm ciii. 10, 'He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our wickednesses.' This part of the Litany is said to have been added in the sixth century, when the empire was overrun by barbarians. (Wheatly).
'O Lord, arise, help us,' &c. Ps. xliv. 26.
These verses of the forty-fourth Psalm and the Gloria Patri following, are perhaps a relic of the ancient custom of introducing psalmody in the Litany. They were chanted at the beginning of the Litany on the second day of rogations, in the church of Salisbury. (Jebb, Palmer).
It was customary to introduce, at the end of the ancient litanies, special prayers, and thanksgivings, upon any occasion of importance. In conformity with this practice our Church has provided a number of collects, to be used according to the discretion of the officiating minister before the prayer of St. Chrysostom, either at Morning or Evening Prayer, or in the Litany. Prayers for rain and for fine weather, prayers to be used in times of dearth, of war, and of sickness, are to be found in the ancient Greek and Latin servicebooks, and though not literally translated, have in many cases been imitated by our Reformers. The prayers to be used in the ember Orig. Lit. weeks are said by Mr Palmer to be peculiar
to the English ritual; they were added at the last review. The Latin name for these four seasons was Quatuor tempora, which in German was corrupted into quatember, whence is
derived, by dropping the first syllable, the English word ember1. The old etymology of the word from the supposed use of embers or ashes by supplicants is without foundation. The prayer 'that may be said after any of the former,' is in the Sacramentary, and appears to have been always used in the English Church:
Deus cui proprium est misereri semper et parcere, suscipe deprecationem nostram; et quos delictorum catena constringit, miseratio tuæ pietatis absolvat. Per &c.
The Prayer for the high court of Parlia- For the ment first appeared in the ‘Order of fasting,' ment. put forth in the year 1625; it was subsequently altered, and placed in the Prayer Book at the last review. The term 'most religious' was applied to the Sovereign in the ancient Greek liturgies: thus in the Liturgy of St Basil it is said: Μνήσθητι κύριε τῶν εὐσεβεστάτων καὶ πιστοτάτων ἡμῶν βασιλέων.
of For all
The prayer for all sorts and conditions men,' was also inserted at the last review. has been ascribed to Bishop Sanderson; but according to another tradition, Bishop Gunning, sometime Master of St John's College, Cambridge, was the author of it. It has been also
1 See an article on the names of English Church festivals in the Christian Remembrancer for October, 1852.
said, that it was originally much longer than it now is, and that the throwing out a great part of it, which consisted of petitions for the King, the Royal Family, the Clergy, &c., was the occasion of the word finally coming so soon in so short a prayer. (Wheatly).
'Christ his sake.' This mode of writing the genitive case was common at the time when this prayer was composed. It was founded on the erroneous supposition, that the genitive in our language was formed by adding the possessive pronoun to the substantive; whereas the genitive originally ended in es, (as we find in Chaucer 'Christes love') as in the Teutonic languages, from which our own is derived.
The beautiful prayer entitled 'A General Thanksgiving' was added in 1662, in compliance with a suggestion of the Puritans. Though placed among occasional thanksgivings, it has deservedly been received into the regular service of the Church. It certainly gives to our devotions a more eucharistical and cheerful tone. Nor is it out of place at the close of an office of humiliation like the Litany. For after such an office we need something to raise us as it were, and refresh us; and nothing is more suitable for this purpose, nothing is more apt
to give us confidence for the future, than the recollection of God's mercies vouchsafed to us in past times. This transition is also in accordance with the example of David, who sometimes ends a Psalm of sorrow and supplication with a burst of praise and thanksgiving. See Psalms vi., xxii., lxxi., &c. The General Thanksgiving has been often attributed to Bishop Sanderson, who is stated by his biographer, Isaac Walton, to have borne a principal part in the preparation of the new prayers at the last review; but from the proceedings of the upper house of Convocation, we learn that it was prepared and presented to the Convocation by Reynolds, Bishop of Norwich, who had been one of the most eminent representatives of the dissenters at the Savoy conference.