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The Illegality of the "Agnus Dei" after the Prayer of Consecration in the Communion Office,
And the Lawfulness of the Customary Hymns in Divine Service.

By Isaac Plant Fleming.

No place: no publisher, 1879.

The following letter has been addressed to the Bishop of Lichfield with reference to his decision on the subject of the "Agnus Dei" on the Wolverhampton Presentments of Ritualistic practices, and' his remarks on the singing of hymns:—

TONBRIDGE, December 24th, 1878.

MY LORD,—Pardon the liberty I am taking in addressing your lordship upon a matter of the greatest importance—one which cannot fail to aggravate the concern which is felt by those who watch the progress of the Romeward movement within the pale of what our Constitution defines to be "the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law." As a layman of the Church of England, who has made some feeble effort to vindicate historical truth in support of the great principles of the Reformation, I venture to take this step on public grounds, because I fear that the replies your lordship has given to representations preferred against illegal practices in certain churches in Wolverhampton may furnish a precedent for similar cases elsewhere; and because I apprehend your lordship does not fully estimate the gravity of the reasons which underlie the complaints addressed in many quarters to the Bishops against Ritualistic practices. Pray extend to me your kind indulgence, my lord, whilst I lay before you some serious considerations, and accept the prompting of duty as an apology for the liberty I am taking.

My lord, of all the Romeward innovations illegally practised with a view to re-establish the "Mass" in this Reformed Church of England, none is so pregnant with meaning—so reprehensible—so subtle and plausible, as the introduction of the "Agnus Dei" after the prayer of Consecration in the Communion office. I pass by the fact that this practice has been condemned as illegal by the highest Court in the land, with the single reflection that the lay-mind can hardly understand how any Bishop can allow what the law disallows.

I confine myself to the reasons assigned by your lordship for refusing your prohibition to this novel practice. I quote from the Globe of Saturday, December 21st inst.

Your lordship says:—

"With regard to the singing of a hymn generally known as the 'Agnus Dei' [1/2] after the Consecration Prayer in the Communion Service, having regard to the circumstance

1. That the same words form part of the Communion office itself, and are directed to be said or sung at a later period of the service; and further—

2. Bearing in mind the custom, almost universal, of singing other hymns equally unauthorized at other parts of the service—as for instance, at the end of the Nicene Creed before the Morning Sermon,

I do not think it necessary to prohibit the singing of this hymn."

Your lordship here assigns two reasons, which with all deference I will briefly discuss, with a view to remove some prevalent misconceptions, and in the hope your lordship will discover some ground for reviewing the important decision you have given. Dealing first with the latter of the two reasons assigned by your lordship for declining to prohibit "the 'Agnus Dei' after the prayer of Consecration"—viz., "the singing of other hymns equally unauthorized at other parts of the service—as for instance, at the close of the Nicene Creed," I must candidly remind your lordship that, though this allegation was started some years ago, as a cover for the intrusion of Ritualistic practices, and has been repeated by many innocently and firmly believing it, in reality there is not the slightest foundation for the assertion itself. It is an instance of the mischievous fabrications—false in fact, whatever the motive, which have been too often accepted without investigation, and spread in furtherance of a most dangerous design to re-introduce what was purposely and wisely abolished from our Service Book at the Reformation.

If is true, my lord, that hymns are usually sung at the close of the third collect in Morning and Evening Prayer, and after Prayer before the Sermon, morning and evening. So far from being unauthorized, not only is this all perfectly lawful, but more, it is perfectly in order, my lord, to sing them as well before, both Morning and Evening Prayer. This I will proceed to show.

If your lordship will turn to the "Injunctions of Queen Elizabeth, 1559," your lordship will find: "XLIX. . . And that there be a modest and distinct song so used in all parts of the Common Prayer in the Church, that the same may be as plainly understanded as if it were read without singing, and yet nevertheless for the comforting of such that delight in music it may be permitted that in the beginning, or in the end of the Common Prayers, either at morning or evening, there may be sung an hymn, or such like song to the praise of Almighty God in the best sort of melody and music that may be conveniently devised, having respect that the sentence of the hymn may be understanded and perceived." Cardwell's Doc. Annals, Vol. I, pp. 196, 197.

Thus, my lord, from that time to this, whilst the hymns that are usually sung at the close of the Nicene Creed and elsewhere have authority and custom as their sanction, this "Agnus Dei" after the Prayer of Consecration in the Communion office, besides being an innovation of the hour, stands condemned by the highest Court in the land as illegal!

Nor is the reason far to seek, if in weighing the first of the two reasons assigned for your lordship's decision, I place before you certain facts which prove indisputably that it is not possible for honest and conscientious members of the Church of England, aware of its meaning and purport, to join in the worship where this element of the Mass is adopted.

The practice my lord, is borrowed from the Romish Mass. Its purpose, to quote Dr. Lee in the "Essays on the Re-union of Christendom" (1868), is to [2/3] teach people to worship God under the form of bread!" I care not whether the doctrine be called "impanation" or "transubstantiation." The result is the same—directly to contravene both Reformed doctrine and Reformed practice.

If your lordship turns to the Romish Missal, you will find that the "Gloria in Excelsis" which terminates our Communion office is sung by the choir with them before the Collects, Epistles, and Gospel. In both Churches, this hymn, though involving the suffrages of the "Agnus," has nothing to do whatever with the prayer of Consecration, nor could the worship it exhibits therefore be understood or construed as directed in any way to the transubstantiated wafer or consecrated elements. Nor has the "Agnus Dei" thus interpolated by the Ritualists been borrowed from this source.

For, in the Missal also, you will find, my lord, that after the Canon of the Mass is concluded, at the close of the prayer of the commixtion of the body and blood of Christ—"May this mixture and consecration of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ be to us that receive it effectual to eternal life,"—that then the choir sing the "Agnus Dei." This is the source whence it has been borrowed, and ominously imported, into the Reformed Communion office of a Protestant Church!

As to the meaning of the intrusion, I would ask your lordship not to entertain the idea that the charge I have made is one arising from unworthy suspicion, or narrow-minded Evangelicalism. I place before you the object of the usage as avowed by the Ritualists themselves.

In the Appendix to the Second Report of the Ritual Commission, p. 67, you will find, my lord, the following simple and lucid explanation:

"I will now solicit your lordship's (the Dean of Arches) attention to a book I cited yesterday, called—'The Ritual Reason Why,' p. 121, No. 284, this is the question—Why does he genuflect after each consecration? The answer is—In lowliest worship of our Lord now present under the forms of bread and wine. P. 126, No. 291.—Why does he elevate the blessed sacrament after either consecration? The answer is—For two reasons: first, as presenting the sacrifice to the Father under the separate forms which represent His body and soul parted in death; and as showing the Lord's death before the people by this act: and again, as exhibiting to them Christ really, though invisibly present to receive their worship. In this the priest imitates St. John the Baptist, who was not content with worshipping his Lord but pointed Him out to the people, saying, 'Behold the Lamb of God.' Then at p. 160, What is the 'Agnus Dei'? Answer—'It is an anthem sung by the choir during the communion of the priest, and is a prayer to our Lord now present on the altar—the Lamb as it had been slain.' The choir sing thrice, O Lamb of God that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us."

In the first Prayer Book of Edward VI a whole series of prayers are interspersed between the consecration and receiving of the elements. In Shipley's Liturgies, p. xii, and pp. 63, 65, we find these prayers were interposed—First Oblation of Sacrifice, Lord's Prayer, Pax Domini, Christ our Paschal Lamb, Invitation, Confession, Absolution, The Comfortable Words, and Prayer of Humble Access. In the second book of Edward VI, and in the book of 1662, the receiving of the elements immediately follows the consecration prayer, all the intermediate prayers being placed before the consecration or after the receiving. As this alteration was simultaneous with the condemnation of worshipping the sacraments in the Articles of 1552, it is highly probable that it was intended to [3/4] prevent the possibility of any prayers being suppossd to be addressed to the sacrament. In Shipley's Liturgies, p. 66, it is said—"for the same reason probably the 'Agnus Dei' directed in the first book to be sung during the communion was omitted in the second book."—2nd Report Rit. Comm. p. 71.

Let me refer you in confirmation of this, my lord, to the conduct of Bishop Ridley, the estimate he formed of this matter, and the opinion then as now held as to its significance. In the outset of his Injunctions issued in 1550 Bishop Ridley thus orders:

"Item. That no Minister do counterfeit the Popish Mass in kissing the Lord's Board, washing his hands or fingers after the Gospel, or receipt of Holy Communion—shifting the book from one place to another—laying down and licking the chalice after the communion—blessing with his eyes the sudary thereof or paten or crossing his head with the same—holding his forefingers and thumbs joined together towards the temples of his head after receiving the sacramentbreathing on the bread or chalice—saying the Agnus before the Communion—showing the sacrament openly before the distribution, or snaking any elevation thereof—ringing of the sacrying bells, or setting any light on the Lord's board, and finally that the Minister in times of Holy Communion do use only the ceremonies and gestures appointed by the Book of Common Prayer and none other, so that there do not appear in them any counterfeiting of the Popish Mass."—Cardwell's Doc. Ann. p. 81.

I must not weary you, my lord. Can we suppose that our illustrious forefathers and martyrs of the Reformation in their wisdom compiled our Liturgy with the Missal before them, and abolished whatever savoured of that doctrine of transubstantiation which our Articles declare to be "a blasphemous fable and a dangerous deceit" without a perfect knowledge of the importance of each of their acts? Or that they would have viewed with equanimity the introduction of what had been forbidden as an accessory to a "counterfeited Popish Mass?" The long history of their Injunctions and their vigilant zeal on behalf of the doctrines and principles of the Reformation would strengthen the testimony I have adduced. This, my lord, is no light matter of devotional taste or convenience—it bears hard upon doctrinal truth and conscience. The words of the "Agnus Dei" absolutely are not in question: it is the place they hold, and the meaning they convey by the relation in which they stand through this innovation.

The vast majority of the laity, my lord, turn their eyes with long-suffering patience to you and your brethren. It is not a question of High Church and Low Church, for even high churchmen in the days of Laud knew nothing of the features which characterize the assaults we daily witness on the principles of the Reformation. But it is a question which affects the welfare and stability of the Church itself. It concerns the crucial doctrine which differentiates us from Rome. When such efforts as I have endeavoured thus to examine historically receive even the negative support of the Fathers of our Church, they who lay to heart our unhappy and serious divisions, and the cause of them, have the melancholy conviction left that "offences must come" and continue to come, until the consummation which many welcome, more deprecate, overtakes them at no distant day as the only palliative possible.

With unfeigned respect, I am, my lord,

Your lordship's humble, obedient servant,

(Signed) I. P. FLEMING. (D.C.L.)

[5] Letter from the Bishop of Lichfield to Dr. Fleming:—

LICHFIELD, January 9, 1879.

DEAR SIR,—I have to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of December 24.

Although I am at a loss to know what is your locus standi with reference to a question between myself and my clergy, yet as a matter of courtesy I have read with care the remonstrance which you have thought it right to address to me. The point to which you call my special attention is a reference in my decision to the singing of hymns, which I describe as "unauthorized, as for instance at the end of the Nicene Creed before the morning sermon." To justify such use you refer me to the "Injunctions of Queen Elizabeth, 1559. No. xlix." If, however, you will take the trouble to read the paragraph a little more carefully you will find that it has no reference whatever to the question at issue. It provides in the first instance that all parts of the Common Prayer, instead of being read should be "sung with a modest and distinct song," a requirement which would scarcely be acceptable, and certainly is not obeyed in a large number of the congregations in the Church of England; and it further permits that a hymn may be sung "in the beginning or in the end of the Common Prayers either at morning or evening." I think you will already perceive this does not touch the question of singing a hymn "in the middle of the Communion Service for instance, at the end of the morning prayer." I regret to say that more pressing claims upon my time prevent my dealing with the general question of Ritual discussed in your remonstrance. Had I time to do so, I think I should be able to show you that there is a good deal to be said on the other side.

I am, dear Sir, your faithful servant,


I. P. Fleming, D.C.L.

Letter from Dr. Fleming to the Bishop of Lichfield:—

To the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Lichfield.

TONBRIDGE, 17th January, 1879.

MY LORD,—I beg to thank you most sincerely and gratefully for the kind courtesy of your reply to my communication of Dec. 24th last. I can assure your Lordship I am innocent of the presumption of affecting any locus standi whatever "with reference to a question between yourself and your Clergy." The ground I take is simply that of a layman of the Church of England writing to one of her Bishops upon a matter of grave concern and interest to all her members.

Your Lordship has been kind enough to point out to me, that the Injunction of Elizabeth, 1559, No. XLIX, in your opinion, "has no reference to the question at issue," viz., singing a hymn after the Nicene Creed. Moreover, you deal with the former part of my quotation, as if the Injunction warranted your Lordship's inference—"It provides in the first instance that all parts of the CommonPrayer instead of being read should be sung with a modest and distinct song a requirement which would scarcely be acceptable, and certainly is not obeyed in a large number of congregations."

I venture with all deference to suggest, my Lord, that the Injunction [5/6] contemplates a very different—state of things, and that the latter part, upon which alone I dwelt, if carefully studied, and considered in connection with the usage of that and subsequent reigns, completely covers my argument, that it authorizes the practice of singing a hymn at the close of the Nicene Creed. I will quote the Injunction in extenso; and, if you will kindly permit the liberty, I will append an historical statement in chronological order, which I believe will be found to completely dispose of this question of Hymn-singing in Divine Service.


XLIX. "Item, Because in divers collegiate and also in some parish Churches heretofore there have been livings appointed for the maintenance of men and children to use singing in the Church, by means whereof the laudable service of music hath been had in estimation, and preserved in knowledge; the Queen's Majesty neither meaning in any wise the decay of anything that might conveniently tend to the use and continuance of the said science, neither to have the same in any part so abused in the Church, that thereby the Common Prayer should be the worse understanded of the hearers, willeth and commandeth, that first no alterations be made of such assignments of living as heretofore hath been appointed to the use of singing or music in the Church, but that the same so remain. And that there be a modest and distinct song so used in all parts of the Common Prayers in the Church, that the same may be as plainly understanded, as if it were read without singing: and yet nevertheless for the comforting of such that delight in music, it may he permitted, that in the beginning or in the end of the Common Prayers, either at morning or evening, there may be sung an hymn, or such like song to the praise of Almighty God, in the best sort of music and melody that may be conveniently devised, having respect that the sentence of the hymn may be understanded and perceived."—Cardwell's Doc. Annals, I, 196, 197.

This Injunction, my Lord, originates no novelty; it re-establishes and sanctions only what had previously been the authorized custom. It provides for the maintenance of choral foundations then in existence, and guards the purity of worship. It enjoins what kind of music is "to be used in all parts of the Common Prayers of the Church" (where of course the rubrics permit what is to be sung). This is a very different thing from your Lordship's gloss—"it provides in the first instance that all parts of the Common Prayer instead of being read should be sung with a modest and distinct song."

And this Injunction does not refer to the general practice of congregations. The ground of it is, "Because in divers collegiate and also in some parish Churches there have been livings appointed for the maintenance of men and children to use singing in the Church."

With respect to the latter part of the Injunction, which applies to the use of hymns in Divine service, I must invite your Lordship's attention to the terms of the permission: "It may be permitted that in the beginning or ending of the Common Prayers either at morning or evening there may be sung an hymn." The expression is not "Common Prayer," but "Common Prayers." Between the two there is a wide difference. "Common Prayer" is collective, as may be seen by reference to the title-page of the Prayer Book, "The Book of Common Prayer." Had such expression been used it would have favoured your Lordship's [6/7] interpretation that hymns may be sung at the beginning or ending of the morning and evening service. But the phrase is "Common Prayers," and I venture to suggest that it has reference to the several stages which the different parts of morning or evening service furnish. Your Lordship's view warrants the inference that it is lawful to sing a hymn before the evening sermon, but not before the morning sermon—a position which I can hardly think satisfactory to the reasonable judgment.

For, my Lord, it needs no proof to show that the morning sermon is no part of the "Common Prayers." Before it commences there must be an ending to the "Common Prayers," and consequently by the Injunction a hymn is permissible.

If you will suffer me, my Lord, I will state a few facts in chronological order, which will show that the interpretation I have given is the only one consistent with the long-continued custom of 300 years.

1. STRYPE, in his "Ecclesiastical Memorials," Vol. II, Part I, p. 135, speaking of the first Act of Uniformity of Edward VI, 1548, says:—"Let me, moreover, take notice of a proviso in this Act concerning the singing of Psalms in public use ... This practice was now authorized by virtue of the said proviso, which runs in this tenor: 'Provided also that it shall be lawful for all men, as well in churches, chapels, oratories, or other places, to use openly any psalm or prayer taken out of the Bible at any due time; not letting or omitting thereby the service, or any part thereof mentioned in the said Book.' From hence it is that the title of our present books, 'The Hymns and Psalms in Meter,' carry these words: 'Set forth and allowed to be sung in all churches of all the people together before and after morning and evening prayer, and also before and after sermons, and moreover in private houses for their godly solace and comfort;' which may serve to explain to us what the ordinary times of their singing together these psalms were, namely, before they began the morning service, and after it was done. Likewise, when there was a sermon, before it began and after it was finished."

2. Upon this title of Sternhold and Hopkins' version of the Psalms, Bishop Beveridge remarks:—"These Psalms were set forth and allowed to be sung in all churches, which could not be without royal authority, none having power over all churches in the kingdom but the King himself; and therefore, although his letters patent or his sign manual cannot be now produced, yet that they who first printed or set forth this Book had his order or licence under his hand cannot be doubted. For otherwise they durst never have presumed to have said that it was set forth and allowed to be sung in all churches. And if they had done it at first, they would soon have been questioned for it, and these words ordered to be left out in all future editions. But we see they have been kept in all the reigns ever since. From whence we may certainly conclude that this translation of the Psalms stands upon the same bottom with the last and all other translations of the Bible—i.e., upon the royal prerogative and authority."—Bishop Beveridge, Works, VIII, p. 614.

3. Incidentally I might here allude to the University Sermons as illustrative not only of the sermon being a separate service, but also of the fact that a psalm or hymn is sung before them—a practice of ancient date and doubtless continued from this, if not from an earlier period.

4. Queen Elizabeth's Injunction will receive the best explanation from the usages of her own reign. In the "Liturgical Services of Queen Elizabeth" (Parker Society), p. 478, the following form of prayer is given:" A Form to be used in Christian prayer twice a week, and also an order of public fasts to be used [7/8] every Wednesday in the week during this time of mortality, and other afflictions wherewith the realm at this present is visited. Set forth by the Queen's Majesty's special commandment, expressed in her letters hereafter following in the next page, 30 July, 1563." At page 489, which is a continuation, we find—"Psalms which may be sung or said before the beginning or after the end of public prayer." At p. 527: "A form to be used in common prayer every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday through the whole realm. To excite and stir all godly people to pray unto God for the preservation of those Christians and their countries that are now invaded by the Turk in Hungary, or elsewhere set forth by the Most Reverend Father in God, Matthew, Archbishop of Canterbury, by the authority of the Queen's Majesty's." At p. 535: "Psalms which may be sung or said before the beginning or after the ending of public prayer, or before and after sermons." Again, at p. 558, this direction is given: "The 21st Psalm in meter before the sermon unto the end of the seventh verse, and the 100th Psalm after the sermon."

5. The Visitation Articles supply the best catena of evidence, not only as to Church practices and usages, but also as to what has been deemed essential, lawful, and authorized by Episcopal and Archidiaconal authority hitherto. Hence an inquiry is made respecting "two psalters" among Church books, sometimes defined as "two psalters in prose and meter" (King's Articles, 1559). We have a long series of Visitation Articles containing such queries: "1547, the Bishop of London; 1571, Grindal, Archbishop of York; 1577, Aylmer, Bishop of London (two psalters); 1578, Sandys, Archbishop of York (two psalters); 1582, Squier, Archdeacon of Middlesex (two psaltersl; 1584, Overton, Bishop of Lichfield (two psalters); 1586, Aylmer, Bishop of London (two psalters); 1599, King, Archdeacon of Nottingham (two psalters in prose and meter); 1601, Bancroft, Bishop of London (two psalters); 1604, Bridges, Bishop of Oxford (two psalters in prose and meter); 1604, Chaderton, Bishop of Lincoln (the psalter); 1607, Babington, Bishop of Worcester (two psalters); 1612, King, Bishop of London (two psalters); 1619, Andrews, Bishop of Winchester; 1619, Howson, Bishop of Oxford (the Psalter sette foorthe by the Bishops); 1625, Andrews, Bishop of Winchester (two psalters); 1627, Cosin, (two psalters); 1627, Potter, Bishop of Carlisle (two psalters); 1630, 1632, White, Archdeacon of Norfolk (two psalters); 1630, Williams, Bishop of Lincoln (two psalters)."—App. Second Report Ritual Commission.

Such, my Lord, is one long roll of your Lordship's illustrious Episcopal predecessors, containing, amongst others, the names of Andrewes and Cosin—men venerated in the school of Anglo-Catholic Theology. They were not content with a negative aspect, or half-hearted permissiveness; nor did they for one moment suppose that the grand principle of uniformity could be consistently maintained with diverse usage and discipline. Champions of law, order, and authority, they insisted everywhere in their dioceses upon the correct standard of lawful requirement, and enjoined as one thing necessary to it the Psalter, which contained psalms and hymns "Set forth and allowed to be sung in all churches . . . before and after morning and evening prayer, and also before and after sermons."

When this special inquiry ceased, it was doubtless due to the fact of the version of Sternhold and Hopkins being bound up commonly with the Prayer Book. Often however, the question is asked whether the Church is provided with two Books of Common Prayer, one for the Clerk, respecting whom questions are sometimes asked as to "whether he can sing."

[9] It has been asserted that the version of Sternhold and Hopkins never possessed any Ecclesiastical authority. Synodical; authority cannot be pleaded for it; but the Visitation Articles prove that its use was continuously recognized, and this could not have been the case unless it possessed sufficient authority. Moreover it must be remembered that it was avowedly issued by the royal printers as under authority, and provided that the psalms and hymns were to be sung "before and after sermons."

6. Bishop Beveridge quotes an Order of Charles I, authorizing the singing in Churches of another version of the Psalms, translated by his father James I, "Charles Rex having caused this translation of the Psalms (whereof our late dear father was author) to be perused, and it being found to be exactly and truly done, we do hereby authorize the same to be imprinted according to the patent thereupon, and do allow them to be sung in all the Churches of our dominions, recommending them to all our good subjects for that effect." If this version in the reign of Charles I was to take the place of the old version of Sternhold and Hopkins, we may fairly conclude it would be under the same conditions and royal sanction as to times—"before and after sermons;" for the king would doubtless wish his dutiful and loyal subjects to sing them as frequently and fervently as possible.

This Royal version we may from circumstances safely suppose to be the one alluded to in the previous list of Visitation Articles. 1619, Howson, Bishop of Oxford, inquires whether the Churches in his diocese have provided themselves with "the Psalter sette foorthe by the Bishops."

The old version of Sternhold and Hopkins was supplanted by the new one of Tate and Brady, in 1696. The authority they rest upon is an Order in Council, 3 December, 1696, present the King's Most Excellent Majesty in Council, upon the humble petition of Nicholas Brady and Nahum Tate, "This day was read at the Board setting forth that the petitioners have with the utmost care and industry completed a new version of the Psalms of David in English metre, fitted for public use, and humbly praying His Majesty's Royal Highness that the version may be used in such congregations as think fit to receive it. His Majesty taking the same into His Royal consideration, is pleased to order in Council that the same new version of the Psalms in English metre be, and the same is hereby allowed and permitted to be used in all churches, chapels, and congregations as think fit to receive the same."—2nd Report Rit. Com., p. 291.

Such, my Lord, is a brief statement of the principal facts which establish the lawfulness of singing hymns in Divine service, and as I have endeavoured to show, as publicly and continuously advertised from first to last, before sermons, morning and evening. The statement that hymns are utterly illegal, or something tantamount to it, has been repeated too often; and, notably, if I remember right, upon one memorable occasion in the House of Commons. It might have been that your Lordship, resting on this untenable ground, quoted the hymn "at the close of the Nicene Creed" as an instance of the general illegality, or, as it appears from your letter, as an outlying irregularity.

I have endeavoured by an historical retrospect to support my position that the Injunction of Elizabeth covers the whole argument. Most of these facts were adduced by Dr. Stephens in his pleadings before the Court of Arches. I cannot do better than conclude in his own memorable words:—

"It is likewise observable that the title-page of Sternhold and Hopkins, as well as the Rubrics in the Occasional Services in Elizabeth's reign only contemplate [9/10] the use of psalms at the beginning or end of the service, or at the beginning or end of the sermon . . . . . . Down to the revision of 1662 the order of morning prayed ended where the Rubric is now inserted—'In choirs and places where they sing, here followeth the anthem.' That Rubric was introduced, as your Lordship is aware, in 1662, and was probably intended to sanction not only anthems in prose, but other metrical psalms. In Elizabeth's 'Liturgical Services,' p. 560, we find a hymn in metre spoken of as an anthem.

"But such a practice as this would give no sanction to interpolating hymns into the middle of a service."—Dr. Stephens, in Martin v. Mackonochie.

And if stress be laid upon the fact that hymns in Divine service and before sermons have never received the sanction of the Church's synods, at least they have never experienced the condemnation of the Church's courts. By these the Agnus Dei after the Prayer of Consecration in the Communion office has been declared to be illegal and prohibited no less than four times:—By Sir R. Phillimore, Dean of Arches, in Martin v. Mackonochie; by Sir R. Phillimore, Dean of Arches, in Elphinstone v. Purchas; by Lord Penzance, Dean of Arches, in Hudson and others v. Tooth; by Lord Penzance, Dean of Arches, in Clifton v. Ridsdale.

Apologizing for trespassing so long on your attention, with profound respect,

I have the honour to be, my Lord,

Your Lordship's most obedient servant,


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