Tongue, by a late Gentleman-
Commoner of Magdalen College in Oxford.
ners Hall. 1715.
Although the great Apostle of the Gentiles hath taught that there is but One Christ, One Faith, and One Baptism, and so there ought to be One Religion; yet hath some People through Prejudice, Interest, or Ignorance separated themselves from the Church of God; and being so impudent as to reject all manner of Set Prayers, because they have the Vanity to think themselves able to talk ex tempore with the Almighty, I undertook the Translation of the Lutheran Liturgy, or Book of Common-Prayer, us'd by the Protestants in the Reformed Churches in Germany, to shew how parallel it runs with that in Use with the Church of England: For they are to understand that Luther was no Presbyterian, Anabaptist nor Quaker; for the Followers of that German Divine admire both Kingly Government and Episcopacy, as it plainly appears in the Kingdoms of Denmark and Sweden, who use Liturgies, or Books of Common-Prayers: but I acknowledge somewhat different from one another, because they are compil'd according to the different Usages of Churches in each Nation.
We are very sensible that the Dissenters make a great many very frivolous Exceptions against any Set Form of Prayer; but the Uses and Benefits of a publick Liturgy, or Book of Common-Prayer do appear, not only from the Mistakes and Confusions which extemporary Exercises, though of Persons otherways well enough qualify'd, are subject to, but also from the Peoples being frequently at a Stand, whether they may join with their Holde-forth or Tub-Preacher, in those Petitions. Whereas in a Liturgy, they may well weigh and consider what they are to offer up in Petition to God, before they come to Church, having then nothing to do, but only with Earnestness to put up their Petitions to God for what they are sure they may lawfully ask him. Besides, that Liturgies were anciently used in the Church is evident, from the Usage of them among the Jews themselves. For several Liturgical Forms were compos'd by Esdras and the great Synagogue; and they in their ancient Liturgies, were wont in their solemn Confession of their Sins, to read several Chapters of the Mosaical Law and the Prophets, to pray for God's Blessing on their People; and in the close of their Devotion, the Rule of the Synagogue used to dismiss them with a solemn Benediction. And that our Saviour compos'd the Lord's Prayer to be a Form to be constantly us'd by the Christians, and that it was in Fact made use of so in the publick Assemblies of the Primitive or First Christians, many Fathers of the Church do testifie: Moreover, those Prophesyings or Singing of Psalms mentioned by St. Luke in the 23d and 24th Verses of the 4th Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, is a certain Proof that the Christians, in the most early Times, made use of Set Forms of Devotion; and they have continu'd ever since in Use maong all Bodies of true Christians, both of the Eastern and Western Church; nay, and even among the two best Branches of the Reformation, I mean the Lutherans, and those of the Church of England.
The Liturgy which our Establish'd Church uses is corresponding to the most ancient Forms us'd by the Greek and Latin Professors of Christianity in the most Primitive and Purest Times; and was compil'd in the Reign of Edward the Sixth, by Men no less noted for true Piety than sound Learning, I mean Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Goodrick, Bishop of Ely, Henry Holbech, Bishop of Winchester, George Day, Bishop of Chichester, John Skip, Bishop of Hereford, Thirlby, Bishop of Westminster, Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of Rochester, Richard Cox, Dean of Christ-Church, and Almoner to the King, Doctor May, Dean of St. Paul's, Doctor Taylor, Dean of Lincoln, Doctor Haynes, Dean of Exeter, Doctor Robinson, Archdeacon of Leicester, Doctor Redman, Dean of Westminster, and Master of Trinity-College in Cambridge. But Popery having been introduced again into England in the Reign of bloody Queen Mary, and the Mass-Book used instead of the English Liturgy; upon the coming of Queen Elizabeth to the Crown, Consultations was held by the Protestants about the Court, concerning the bringing in again the English Service; and in order to this, the following learned Divines were appointed to make a Review of the Common-Prayer Book set forth by King Edward the Sixth; namely, Doctor Matthew Parker, Doctor Richard Cox, Doctor May, Doctor Bill, Doctor James Pilkington, Sir Thomas Smith, Mr. David Whitehead, Mr. Edmund Grindal, Doctor Edwyn Sands, and Mr. Edmund Gaest.
I acknowledge, that before the Reformation the Liturgy was only in Latin; being a Collection of Prayers, made up partly of some ancient Forms used in the Primitive Church, and partly some others of a later Original, accommodated to the Superstitions which had crept into the Romish Church in the middle Ages: And the Latin Services which were mostly us'd here in England, for Three Hundred Years before the Reformation, were compos'd by Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, a Man well vers'd in Rituals or Liturgical Learning, about the Year of our Lord 1080; and were thought to be done with that Exactness, according to the Rules of the Church of Rome, that many Churches abroad likewise entertain'd 'em. Now these Latin Prayers being established by the Laws of the Land, and the Canons of the Church, no other could be publickly made use of; so that those of the Laity, who had not the Advantage of a learned Education, could not with Edification join in them: And besides, they being mixt with Addresses to the Saints, Adoration to the Host, Images, and other Trumpery, contrary to the Rules of our Rubrick, the Worship was in it self idolatrous and prophane. Besides, the Pretence of the Papists to have the Common-Prayer of the Church in an unknown Tongue is one of the most impudent Crimes of all those many that Religion abounds with. For this is not only directly contrary to the Doctrine of St. Paul, concerning the Unprofitableness of making use of a Tongue in the publick Assemblies, which the People do not understand, but is contrary to the Practice of the best and earliest Times of the Church. Liturgies being in the Greek and Latin Languages, must needs be understood by all Italy and Greece; and those other Nations where those Tongues were spoken, which was the far greater Part of the then known World. The Syrians, Ethiopians, Armenians, and other Nations have Liturgies in their Mother Tongue to this Day. It is recorded that at the Funeral of Paula in Palestine, the Christians of the several Languages in that Country sang Psalms in their Mother-Tongue: Nay, so late as the Tenth Century, the Church of Rome had not the Confidence to declare against the Use of the vulgar Tongue; for a certain Bishop of Moravia, having converted a great Part of the People to the Christian Faith, desired of the Pope, that he might perform divine Offices in the Sclavonian Language, for which he obtain'd a Dispensation.
Next proceeding to shew the insignificant Exceptions which are made against Ceremonies, by those Persons who marry without a Ring, and christen without the Cross, whilst other Sects die without any Baptism; I shall first shew from whence the Word takes its Derivation; and next their Folly in so acting. The Word Ceremony is of Latin Original, though some of the best Criticks in Antiquity are divided in their Opinions, in assigning from what Word in that Tongue it took its Name. Valerius Maximus says, that it was so called from Caere, Town in Italy, where the Vestals had a safe Retreat, when the City of Rome was sack'd by the Gauls. Inde enim institutum est, sacra caeremonias vocari, quia Caretani ea, in fracto reipublicae statu, perinde ac florente, coluerunt. Lib. I. Cap. I. Gellius in the Ninth Chapter of the Fourth Book of Noctes atticae, derives it à carendo, from wanting. Macrobius inclines to the same Opinion, as to the Derivation of the Word, saying Religio à reliquendo ut a carendo caeremonea. Saturnal. Lib. 3. cap. 3. and others contend that the Word takes its Rise from the Goddess Ceres, upon which Account Ceremonica is explain'd by Dhmetria. The Christians have adapted the Word to signifie external Rights and Customs in the Worship of God; which, though they are not of the Essence of Religion, yet they contribute much to the Decency thereof, to Convenience, good Order, and Uniformity in the Church. Now, though a Multitude of them do clog and choak the vital Part of Religion, yet some few decent external Orders, though of humane Institution, do help to keep up the Dignity of Religion, and preserve it from Contempt in the Eyes of the Vulgar, whose Minds are not apt to have always the highest Regards to the internal Excellence thereof. For, if there were no Ornaments in the Church, and prescript Order of Administration, the common People would hardly be persuaded to shew more Reverence in the sacred Assemblies, than in other ordinary Places, where they meet only for Business or Diversion. But notwithstanding this, some giddy-headed Dissenters have laid it down, that no Ceremony or humane Constitution is justifiable, but what is expressly warranted in the Word of God. This they have pretended to reduce into a Syllogistical Demonstration thus. Wheresoever Faith is wanting, there is Sin. In every Action not commanded, there is Sin. But the Falsity of this Syllogism is plainly confuted from this Apostolical Injunction. Let all things be done with Decency, and in Order. Which Text is a much better Demonstration, for proving that the Church has a Power to enjoin proper Ceremonies, for the good Order and Comeliness of Ecclesiastical Conventions.
Truly our Liturgy is a Book, that, next to the inspired Volumes of the Holy Scriptures, of all the Compositions in the World, the best of Christians have the greatest Value for. Nay, the first Compilers thereof seal'd it with their Blood, as being more perfect and more agreeable to God's Word, and to primitive Practice, than any that is to be found throughout the whole diffusive Body of Christ's Catholick Church. Indeed, I have been the longer in praising the Excellency of it, because the Liturgy us'd by the Lutherans in Germany is very parallel to it; and therefore will be a great Heart-burning to the several Sects which harbour in Great-Britain; however, as Moderation is a Christian Virtue; and Charity, as being the highest ascent to Heaven, is required of all who profess the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we earnestly hope that such a good Understanding and Unity will be knitted among all Protestant Brethren, that shall make Rome and all its Adherents tremble at our Tranquility, Peace and Concord; besides, as it is the Royal Pleasure of his most Excellent Majesty King George, to declare in his first sitting here in Council, how much he desires the uniting of all his Protestant Subjects, as being a Duty highly incumbent on Christianity, it would be a Crime in the superlative Degree, to fall out among our selves, because it would be greatly displeasing to the best of Monarchs, whom God grant long to Reign in all Health, Happiness, and Prosperity over Great Britain, and the rest of his Dominions.
WHEN the Members of the Church of England first enter the House of God in the Morning, they begin their Devotion with reading some certain Sentences of Scripture, to prepare them for publick Prayer. Now these Sentences are taken from Zek. 18. 27, Psal. 51. 3. Psal. 51. 9. Psal. 51. 17. Joel, 2. 13. Dan. 9.9, 10. Jer. 10. 24. Mat. 3. 2. Luk. 15. 18, 19. Psal. 143. 2. Joh. I. 8, 9. In like manner the Lutherans to dispose themselves to pray, do first repeat several Sentences out of holy Writ, which are these. Zek. 18. 27. I. Joh. I. 8, 9. Psal. I. I, 2, 3. Psal. 51,. 12, 13, 14. Psal. 51. 18, 19. Joel, 2, 13. I Cor. II. 14. Ephes. 4. 22, 23, 24. Phil. 2. 5, 8. Col. 3. 16, 17. I Tim. 4. 7, 8. I Pet. 2. 1, 2, 3. I Pet. 2. 11, 12, Tit. 2. 11, 12. I Pet. 4. 8. I Pet. 5. 8, 9. 2 Pet. I. 5. 9. 2. Pet. I. 19. I Joh. I. 5, 6, 7. I. Joh. 2. v. 15. 17. Rev. 3. 20, 21, 22. And these two Sentences [1/2] out of Apocryphal Writ: For into a malicious Soul Wisdom shall not enter, nor dwell in the Body that is subject unto Sin. For the Spirit of the Lord filleth the World; and that which contained all Things hath Knowledge of the Voice. Wisd. of Sol. I. 4, 7.
To these Sentences of God's Word, the Church hath annexed a pertinent Exhortation, lest any should not sufficiently understand these Places, or not carefully practise what they know to be required of them. The Exhortation both with us and the Lutherans begins thus. Dearly beloved Brethren, the Scripture moveth us in sundry Places to acknowledge and confess our manifold Sins and Wickedness: and so forth.
Next is a general Confession to be said of the whole Congregation kneeling; and which we and the Lutherans thus say, Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and stray'd from thy Ways like lost Sheep: and so forth. Thus by the constant Tenor of the holy Scriptures we are inform'd that, without an Acknowledgment and Confession of our Sins, we cannot obtain a Remission of them. If we confess our Sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our Sins, and to cleanse us from all Unrighteousness, I Joh. I. 9. This was that which render'd the Publican's Devotion so acceptable unto God, when he cry'd, God be merciful to me a Sinner. Luk. 18. 13. Moreover, this was the Practice of devout Penitents in the Jewish Church, as of David, I acknowledge my transgressions, and my Sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy Sight: Psal. 51. 3, 4. And of Jeremiah and the sincere Penitents in his Time. We lie down in our Shame, and our Confusion covereth us; for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our Fathers, from our Youth unto this [2/3] very Day, and have not obeyed the Voice of the Lord our God. Jer. 3. 25. And of Daniel, O Lord, to us belongeth Confusion of Face, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong Mercies and Forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him. Neither have we obeyed the Voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his Laws, which he set before us, by his Servants the Prophets. Dan. 9. 8, 9, 10. And so in the vicarious Sacrifices of the Levitical Law, the Priest was to confess over them all the Iniquities of the Children of Israel. Lev. 16. 21.
Now we come to the Absolution or Remission of Sins, to be pronounced by the Priest alone, both in the Church of England and that of the Lutherans, beginning thus. Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desireth not the Death of a Sinner, but rather that he may turn from his Wickedness and live; and hath given Power and Commandment to his Ministers to declare and pronounce to his People, being Penitent, the Absolution and Remission of their Sins; and so on. Here it is to be observ'd that this Absolution consists of three Parts: First, the absolving Form contain'd in these Words, The Almighty God pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel. Secondly, a Declaration both of the Authority the Ministers of Christ are vested with for this purpose, and of the Conditions requir'd to make it take effect. And lastly, a Prayer to God for his Grace, thereby to attain to such of those Qualifications that we may be wanting in. As to the Form, we may take notice, that that used by the Romish Church is avoided, which was Ego absolvo te ab omnibus peccatis tuis in nomine Patris, Filii, & Spiritus Sancti, Amen. And the Form used in the Reign of Edward [3/4] the First, Anno Domini 1290 is thus, A peccatis istis mihi per te jam confessis, & aliis de quibus no recordaris, authoritate Dei Patris omnipotentis & Apostolorum Petri & Pauli, ac officii mei commissi te absolvo. In which Forms you may observe the Priest pronounces the Absolution as from himself, judicially and authoritatively, in the first Person, I absolve: which our Church has changed into, Almighty God pardoneth.
Then we and the Lutherans say the Lord's Prayer, which is so called, because it was dictated by our Blessed Lord to his Disciples, as a comprehensive Form, comprehending all things necessary for them to pray for: and also to be used by them, and all those who should embrace the Christian Faith, in their Devotions: For it was a common Practice among the Jewish Doctors, to deliver to their Scholars a certain Form of Prayer, to be used together with the established Form of Devotions; to the end that their school might be distinguished from those of other Rabbi's. And to this Custom our Saviour's Disciples are supposed to refer, when they desired of him to teach them to pray, Luk. 11. 1. And according to this Injunction the primitive Christians constantly made use of it in their publick Worship; therefore Cyprian calls it Publica & communis oratio. De orat. dominic. And Tertullian calls it Legitima oratio, that is to say, the established or enjoyned form of Prayer. Sed in legitima oratione cum dicimus ad patrem, ne nos inducas in tentationem. Lib. de fug. in persecut. In the repeating of this most divine Prayer we and the Lutherans kneel, because kneeling was a Posture of religious Worship to Almighty God, among the Jews, in the most ancient Times, as it evidently appears from several Passages in Scripture; for this was the Posture which Solomon us'd in his Prayer, [4/5] at the Dedication of the Temple: And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this Prayer and Supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the Altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his Knees, with his Hands spread up to Heaven. I. Kin. 8. 54. The same religious Posture of praying was used by our blessed Lord himself; And he was withdrawn from them about a Stones cast, and kneeled down and prayed, Luk. 22. 41. The same Posture was used in Prayer by the Apostles, and other holy Persons among the first Christians: St. Stephen at his Martyrdom kneeled down, and cried with a loud Voice, Lord, lay not this Sin to their charge. Act. 7. 60. The same Practice was continued by the Christians of the first Ages. The Christian Soldiers (as Eusebius writes) whilst they were praying for Rain in Aurelius's Army, and did thereby miraculously obtain it, were kneeling upon the Ground, according to the peculiar Custom of us Christians. Hist. Eccl. lib. 5. cap. 5.
After this devout Address to God in that incomparable Prayer which Jesus taught, are added some short and pithy Responses, us'd by us and the Lutherans; then all standing up when the Priest says, Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; and all the People answer, As it was in the Beginning, is now, and ever shall be, World without end. Amen. Which standing up was also the Practice of the Primitive Church to perform those Parts of the publick Service, which were not celebrated kneeling; for this was another way of respectful Worship paid to Almighty God in the Acts of Prayer and Thanksgiving, used antiently in the Jewish Church, and from thence derived to the Christian. And when ye stand, praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: That your Father [5/6] also which is in Heaven may forgive you your Trespasses. Mar. 11. 25.
Next we and the Lutherans say or sing, Venite, exultemus domino, or the 95th Psalm; which contains both Directions and Exhortations to Praises, Prayers, and Hearing God's Word, which are the Duties of our Church Assemblies; and its very Composure shews it was design'd for the Publick Service; besides it was particularly sung in the Eastern and African Church.
Here reading the first Lesson, taken out of the Old Testament, then we, and the Lutherans also, say or sing Te deum laudamus: Which Hymn compos'd by St. Ambrose, was us'd in the Church about the Year 530; at which Times St. Bennet instituted his Order, and prescribed the singing of this Hymn, as one of his Rules. Or else (but omitted by the Lutherans in their Liturgy) we use this Canticle, Benedicite omnia opera domini, which was an antient Hymn in the Jewish Church, and adapted into the Christian Worship in publick Devotion, from the most early Times. Indeed our Church doth not take it for canonical Scripture, because it is not to be found in the Hebrew: but though it be not canonical Scripture, nor an inspired Composition, however it is a pious Form of Praise, very antient, and fit to excite Devotion in all good Christians: Besides it seems to be a paraphrastical Exposition of the 148 Psalm. As to the Objection made by some, that in using this Hymn we pray to Angels, Ice, Snow, and other Things, this is so weak, than any can answer it who look but into their Bibles, where such Apostrophe's frequently occur; and David may as well be accus'd of Idolatry and Angel-worship, as we may be for using this Hymn.
 Now after reading the Second Lesson, taken out of the New Testament, we and the Lutherans say the Benedictus, which Hymn is so call'd from the first Word which it begins with in Latin, and was the Song which Zacharias sung, by the Inspiration of the Holy Ghost, at the Circumcision of his Son John. The Use of it is excepted against by the ignorant Dissenters, as being compos'd upon a peculiar Occasion, and so not adapted to common Use; but this would deprive us of the Use of the Psalms likewise, which were all, or most of them, written too upon particular Occasions.
Next, we and the Lutherans say the Jubilate Deo, or 100 Psalm; which second Hymn after the second Lesson shews how well the Church hath provided for our Delight, as well as our Necessities, by adding another Thanksgiving Song out of the Old Testament, to signified that both the Old and New Testaments agree in exciting us to praise God.
Then we and the Lutherans say the Creed; which, as it has been the receiv'd Opinion of the Church since the Fourth Century was made by the Apostles, every one contributing an Article. It is said they compil'd it the same Year Christ died, a little after the Descent of the Holy Ghost. It is farther said that Damasus first introduced the Creed into the publick Offices about the Year 370; therefore still in the Roman Offices it is repeated with a low Voice, in Remembrance of its Original, when they were afraid the Heathens should overhear it: And King Canutus order'd [7/8] it to be us'd in this Nation in our daily Devotions.
Next we and the Lutherans use a few Versicles and their Responsals, which begin in the Phrase of Boaz to his Reapers, The Lord be with you. Ruth 2. 4.
Then repeating the Lord's Prayer again, we say some other Versicles, with their Responsals, which are most taken out of the Psalms, and used in the Ancient Liturgies, but not by the Lutherans.
Next we and the Lutherans saying the Collect for the Day, which is the same that shall be said at the Communion, then do they, as well as us, read a Collect for Peace, because it is the Parent and Nurse of all other Comforts; and therefore the Christians, according to God's Command, did ever follow it in their Lives, and beg it in their Prayers; both for the Heathens under whom they liv'd, and for the Church of God.
The Lutherans have also the same Collect for Grace which we use in the Church of England; and it properly follows the Collect for Peace, which without Grace is the Nurse of Vice, and Source of dangerous Pleasures.
Next we and the Lutherans use a Prayer for the King's Majesty, for God must needs have a peculiar Regard and Love towards Crowned Heads, because they are anointed by him to administer his Rights among us. This hath encouraged all Nations to pray for their Governors so universally, as if it had been an Agreement among all Mankind. [8/9] To omit the Heathens Sacrifices and Prayers for their Kings and Emperors, we shall find the 20th and 72d Psalm were us'd by the Jews as Forms of Prayer for the King. And both by God's Command, and the Desire of the Persian Emperors (who then were Rulers over the People) Supplications were made to God in their Behalf by those Jews who were under their Protection. But to come nearer, we Christians are most expresly commanded by God to pray for Kings, and for all that are in Authority, I Tim. 11. 1, 2. So that it was even a part of the Churches publick Devotion, to interceed for Emperors and Princes, even while they were Enemies to the Faith, as all Antiquity doth evince. Much more when the Powers of the World became Christian; for then they named them in their Offices, with Titles expressing the dearest Affection and most honourable Respect. And surely since we meet in publick, to pray especially for publick Mercies, there is not any temporal Blessing that is of so universal Concern, as that we should have righteous and religious Kings, guided by wise Councils, and living in Prosperity and Peace. And the great Apostle of the Gentiles bids Men pray for Heathen Kings, since the Government of a Heathen or a Tyrant is better than Anarchy and Confusion.
Truly the Church of England is famous above all other Churches, for her entire Loyalty to the King; and likewise we and the Lutherans have one and the same Prayer for the Royal Family, which Form of Devotion is of great Antiquity, for the Persian Kings desired the prayers of the Jews, for their Sons, Ezra 7. 10. And chose four of their most wise and virtuous Noblemen, to whom the [9/10] Education of the Prince was committed; and they were call'd the Royal Tutors.
Next, we and the Lutherans use one and the same Prayer for the Clergy and People; after which follows St. Chrysostom's Prayer, well known to the Greek Church, but omitted by the Reformed Churches of Germany: And then we conclude our Mattins, or Morning-Service, as well as Vespers, with this final Blessing, The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God, and the Fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2. Cor. 13. 14. For in all religious Assemblies it hath been the Custom to dismiss the People with a Blessing, which was wont to be pronounc'd by the principal Person present, sometimes by the King, but most commonly by the Priests, whose Office was to bless in the Name of the Lord. And therefore under the Law there was a particular Form of Benediction, which the Jews to this Day observe so religiously, that they believe it ought to be repeated in the Holy Tongue, and to be receiv'd by the People with all Reverence, bowing their Heads, and prostrating their Bodies; so that no Man may presume to look upon the Priest's Hands when they are stretched out to give it, because they say, the Glory of God then rests upon them.
The Lutherans, as well as we, do use the Creed of Saint Athanasius which is very ancient; for some Passages out of it (as Carranza shews us) are quoted in the 21st Canon of the Council of Toledo, held Anno Domini 633.
After this the Lutherans, like us, do also use a Litany, which is an Address to God in common [10/11] Supplication to deprecate his Wrath. And it is to be observ'd, that the most ancient Greek Authors use this Word, and others of the same Root, for the most earnest Degree of Supplication, and most earnest Submission. So Homer of Chryses, suing for his Daughter.
'elisshto pantaV AcaiaV. Iliad. l. I.
He all the Greeks most humbly did beseech.
Thus, when the Trojans thronged about Priam to hinder him from going out of the City Gates, to beg his Son Hector's Body of Ulysses, Homer says of him,
PantaV d'elitaneue kulindomenoV kata kopron.
Exonomaklhdhn. Iliad. l. 22.
Throwing himself i'th' Dirt, most humbly did intreat
Them all, by Name, to let him go.
And in the same place, says, how well he begs his Son's Body.
Lissomai anera touton ataqalon.
I humbly will Address the cruel Man.
Thus, when Achilles supplicated to the Winds, to blow, to burn the Body of Patroclus, litaeuen elqemen, Iliad. 23. In short, the most earnest Supplications which were made to the Heathen Deities were call'd by the Name of Litaneiai. So in a Time of Danger, Supplications were made at the Temples and Altars of the Gods. Therefore after Christianity had prevail'd in the Grecian Countries, [11/12] they could not find a properer Word to express their most intense and earnest Devotions, which they put up to God to deprecate his Judgments, than Litaneia.
Now although the Name of Litany be not expressly found in Scripture, yet if we consider the Thing, we have very many Precedents of such kind of earnest Supplications there; the 51st Psalm was David's Litany, beginning with the peculiar Phraise of this office, Miserere; but if this is affirm'd to be us'd in private, we have an illustrious Instance of a publick and solemn Litany instituted and appointed by God himself, in a time of general Calamity, the Sum whereof was, Spare thy People O Lord, Joel. 11. 17. So that the Jewish Church had them by divine Institution, and use them in their Offices to this Day. And when our Lord Jesus gave us a Pattern for all our Prayers, he laid the Foundation of Litanies among the Christians in those latter Petitions, Forgive us our Trespasses, and lead us not into Temptation, but deliver us from Evil. And that his own Practice might confirm the Sanction, his most earnest Supplication in his Agony had all the Properties of a Litany, which could agree to him, the Posture Kneeling, the Companions strong Cryings and Tears, the Form, and repeating the same Words. Afterwards St. Paul doth manifestly enjoin several kinds of publick Prayers, the first of which is Supplications, I Tim. 11. 1. which Text was esteem'd by the Primitive Church, to be the Rule and Law by which they are to compose all their Liturgies, and therefore no Ancient Form doth want these Supplications, which they believed to be prescribed by the great Apostle; so that we want not [12/13] Evidence of Scripture for this excellent Office, which hath been anciently us'd in the Eastern Church, and that compil'd by them the Western Churches have ever since imitated, as being the most full and regular Office of this Kind; and our Litany comes nearer to this than that of the present Roman Church, to which Pope Honorius hath added the Invocation of all the Saints, which was expunged by Mr. Wickliff, and latter Reformers.
Next, we and the Lutherans do use Prayers upon several occasions; as for Rain; fair Weather; in the Time of Dearth and Famine; in the Time of War and Tumults; in the Time of any common Plague or Sickness: For as the Want of Excess of Rain are Judgments, after one of which two Dearth and Famine ensue. It is requisite we should pray to God to avert his Wrath and Anger, for which sometimes hath been so great, that in the Reign of Justinian there was such a general Famine, that Mothers were forced to eat their own Children. But we need not look so far off for Foreign Instances, since our Native Country, tho' it be the Glory of all Lands, the Garden of God, and a Region which outvies all the Kingdoms of the Earth for Plenty of all necessary Things, hath been severely punish'd with the Want of Food: For in the 20th Year of King William I. vulgarly call'd the Conqueror, there was an extream Dearth of all Provisions; in the Reign of Richard I. there was a Famine which continu'd for Three or Four Years together; in the 17th of King Henry the Third, Men were forced, through scarcity, to eat Horse-Flesh, and the Barks of Trees; at which Time also in the City of London alone, there were 2000 starv'd to Death; and in the 8th of Edward the Second, a miserable Famine continued [13/14] for Three Years, in which it is remarked, that the Prisoners eat up those for very Hunger, who were newly brought in amongst them. It would be too long to mention those of late Times; for these Examples may suffice to let us see we are not secure from those Calamities which our Ancestors have so severely smarted under. The Miseries of War likewise are so many and great, that David chose a raging Pestilence rather than endure the Lash of this Fury. The Original thereof, as the Poets say, is from Hell, from whence it is sent abroad into the World, armed with a thousand Arts of Mischief and Destruction. But the true Original is from the evil Dispositions of Men, as the Desire of Hurting; the Cruelty of Revenge; the Implacableness of Malice; the Fierceness of Rebellion; and the Thirst of Dominion. But above all Judgments a common Plague, Sickness, or Pestilence, is most dreadful. It is called in some Places of Scripture by the Name of Death, as being the Cause of a general Mortality; and midbar Pestis is derived from DBR signifying Desart, because it turns a populous Land into a desolate Wilderness; for wheresoever it comes it lays heaps upon heaps, and sends Multitudes to their long Home, scarce leaving enow alive sometimes to bury the Dead; of which we might give many sad Instances out of Eutropius, Natalis, Comes, and others; but we need not go far from Home, since our own Nation hath been the Scene of many tragical Examples of this destroying Judgment: And the principal City of London hath many Times been almost dispeopled thereby; for in this City alone in the 22d of Edward the Third, in Six Months died 57574 of the Plague, of which it was not fully cleared for Nine Months after. In [14/15] the 6th Year of Queen Elizabeth, there was numbered in the same City 21500 Funerals by the Plague; and Anno 1625, the Account there was 35428; about Five Years after 1317 of the Plague; and Six Years after 12102; but the saddest Example of all is yet fresh in our Memories in the Year 1665, when, besides many concealed and omitted, there was in a few Months registred 68748 Persons dying of the Pestilence there; the Remembrance of which, I hope, will make us tremble at the first Approaches of this great Destroyer, and put us upon using this Prayer with all possible Devotion to prevent this so deadly a Calamity from ever rising to amazing height.
Then we (but not the Lutherans) use a Prayer in the Ember Weeks, for those that are to be admitted into Holy Orders; which Ordination of Ministers is a Matter of so great Concernment to all Degrees of Men, that it hath ever been done with great Solemnity: and the Ember-Weeks are not only observ'd in the Church of England, but have been solemnly kept by all the Western World for many Ages; and the Usage is so Ancient, that it is not easie to find out its Original. Next follows a Prayer for the high Court of Parliament; for the Primitive Christians always pray'd that the Emperor might have a faithful Senate; and the Light of Nature taught the Gentiles to begin all their grand Consultations with Sacrifices and Prayers; therefore it would be an abominable Shane if we should express less Sense of our Dependance upon God, and shew a slighter Regard toward the common Good than Heathens; wherefore we also in the Session of our great Senate, do beg a Blessing on them in this admirable Form; [15/16] Most gracious God, we humbly beseech thee, as for this Kingdom in general, so especially for the high Court of Parliament, and so forth. Next, we have a Prayer, as well as the Lutherans, in our Liturgy for all Conditions of Men warranted by Holy Scripture; after which follows a short Prayer, or little collect for pardon, which is an Appendix of the Litanies of the Western Church, and retains the Marks of Primitive Devotion. Afterwards we have general Thanksgivings to be said by all Men at all Times, when they would give God Thanks for some eminent personal Mercy receiv'd by them; and desire to offer up their publick Praises for it.
As for the Collects and Epistles us'd by the Church of England and the Lutherans, the first are so call'd as being collected out of the Epistles and Gospels of the Day which they serve for; or however, out of some other parts of Scripture: the other are call'd Epistles, because, for the most part, they are some short Portions of the Epistolary Books in the new testament; or, though some few of them are taken from the Acts, or other of the Canonical Books, yet they receive their Denomination from the greater Part. The Word Gospel explains itself as well as Festival; but as for Vigils, they are so call'd, because the Christians in the Primitive Times us'd to be up all Night before Christmas, Easter, and other great Festivals of the Year, exercising themselves in Fasting and Prayer. Afterwards they began to be celebrated in the Nights before the Nativities of the Martyrs: Hence some Scandals arising, the Council of Eliberis, in the 35th Canon (as Carranza shews) forbids Women to be present in [16/17] the Cemiteries those Nights the Vigils were celebrated. At last, about the Year 420, the nocturnal Vigils were totally abolished, and turn'd into Preparation Fasts, to precede some of the principal Festivals of the Church.
The Eucharist, or Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is received both by us and the Lutherans kneeling. In all the first Ages of Christianity, many Liturgies were composed suitable to the Places and Times for which they were design'd; but yet all different from the Roman Manner of receiving it; and the reverend Composers of our Common-Prayer Book have used the same Freedom, extracting the Power, and rejecting the suspicious Parts out of all the former, and so have completed this Model with so exact a Judgment, and happy Success, that it is hard to determine whether they more endeavoured the Advancement of Devotion, or the Imitation of pure Antiquity: For we, and the Lutherans of Germany, may safely affirm, that it is more Primitive in all its Parts, and more apt to assist us in worthy receiving, than any Liturgy now used in the Christian World. The Stile is plain and moving, the Phrase is that of the most genuine Fathers, and the whole Composition very pious, and proper to represent and give Lustre to the Duty.
The other Sacrament which we and the Lutherans use with the Sign of the Cross in publick Baptism, which Word comes from the Greek Verb Baptw or Baptizw, which signifies to dip or plunge any thing into Water, or other Liquid, and answers to the Hebrew Word Tabal, which signifies the same. Besides, Water hath so naturally a [17/18] Property of cleansing, that it hath been made a Symbol of Purification by all Nations, and used with that Signification in the Rites of all Religions; for the Gentiles washed before their Sacrifices for the Expiation of their Offences. As for private Baptism, which the Lutherans also allow, the Church hath taken so much care of little Children, that She, in Cases of Extremity, admits of that which is done in private Houses, even without Ceremony; upon Condition there may be added more of the solemnity afterwards, when it is published in the Church. Likewise we and the Lutherans allow Baptism to those of riper Years, in respect to those Jews, Turks, or Infidels, which are disposed to wear the Badge of Christianity; and likewise to the unhappy Children of those licentious Sectaries, who, not content to oppose all the prudent Institutions of the Church, have cast off both those Sacraments which are of Christ's own appointing, by reason whereof those who spring from them, want their Baptism till they come to understand and hate the accursed Errors of their deluded Parents.
The Lutherans, like the Church of England, instruct their Children in Piety and Virtue with a Catechism, which is derived from a Greek Word, signifying to inculcate, or put into the Head of a Person any thing that is taught him; and therefore it has been used by the earliest Ages of the Church, as being of Divine Institution before Christianity was known; for in the Old Testament God by Moses commands the Jews to teach his Laws diligently to their Children, Deut. 6. 7. And by Solomon he enjoins us to train up a Child in the way he should go, Prov. 22. 6. So this general Practice [18/19] of the Jews was imitated by the Christians, as all their other pious Usages were; and since our Saviour had also approved and commanded it in particular to St. Peter, he ordained St. Mark to be the first Catechist of Alexandria; and Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History notes, that in the Year 181, when Pantaenus was an Instructor of a School of young Christians, this Office had flourish'd there for a long time. Confirmation is also used by the Lutherans as well as the Church of England, in Imitation of the Primitive Christians; for though the first Converts indeed whom the Apostles baptized, were confirmed by the immediate Hand of God, and he, by miraculous Gifts, sign'd their Baptism, and attested the Religion into which they enter'd; yet it was not long before the Apostles were appointed to minister, in giving the Holy Spirit to the newly Baptism, and then they instituted the Rite of laying on of Hands, and God was pleased so far to approve this Institution, that he did actually give wonderful Measures of the Spirit to those on whom they laid their Hands, thereby honouring the Governours of his Church, and engaging all the Members thereof to be subject to them, and to be at Peace one with another.
Moreover, among the Rubricks of their Liturgy the Lutherans have an Office for Matrimony, or Marriage, which is the first and most natural of all Societies, the Fountain and Foundation of Mankind, the Original of Families, the Replenisher of Countries, the Beginning of a City, and the Seminary of a Common-wealth. The Christians of old thought it did exceedingly tend to the solemn making and strick keeping this holy Bond of Marriage, to have it seal'd by an Ecclesiastical Person. [19/20] Thus Cyriacus, Patriarch of Constantinople, married Theodosius, Son of the Emperor Mauricius, to the Daughter of Germanus the Patrician; and Sergius, his Successor, married the Emperor Heraclius to Eudoxia; but to come nearer home, in the Laws of our Saxon King Edmund, it was ordain'd, That a Priest should be present at the making of Espousals, who, by giving them the Divine Blessing, might assist their Sacred Confederation in all Holiness. Now, for the preventing clandestine Marriages, the Banns are to be solemnly publish'd three several Sundays or Holydays in the time of Divine Service, which Word is derived from Bannum, us'd in Lombardy, or else from the Saxon one Bannam to decree or proclaim, whence, in barbarous Latin the Word Banniere, signifies to publish, and Bannitum jejenium is a Fast decreed or proclaim'd, and Bannum is sometimes put for a Decree, so that if we put both Significations together, we may expound the Banns to be the Decree or Resolution of Marriage made publick. As for the Time of solemnizing Marriage, which God first instituted between Adam and Eve in Paradise, that eminent and antient Council of Laodicea above 1300 Years ago, forbids expressly, in the 52d Canon, all Weddings in the Time of Lent; and about 400 Years after the Canon Law of the Saxons, did expressly forbid Marriages to be made upon Sundays, Wednesdays or Fridays, as being Days of more solemn Observation for Religion: About 650 Years since, other Canons of our Nation did except against marriages (which ought to be celebrated in Churches, and no where else) on all solemn Festivals, in Ember-Weeks, from Advent till after Christmas, from Septuagesima-Sunday till after Easter; and the Times still observ'd by some among [20/21] us, are not much different, since Marriage is now prohibited from Advent-Sunday till the Octaves of Epiphany, being the Festival of Christmas, from Septuagesima-Sunday till the Octaves of Easter, being the Fast of Lent, and Feast of the Resurrection; and from Ascension-Day to Trinity-Sunday. Among the Lutherans as well as we, when the Couple to be married is at Church, the Bridegroom stands on the Right-hand, and the Bride on the Left, which is expressly so ordered in the Greek and Latin Churches; but among the Jews the Wife stands on the Right-hand of her intended Husband, which they note is done in Imitation of that Place of the Royal Psalmist, Upon thy Right-hand did stand the Queen, Psal. Xlv. 9. Yet, since the Right hand is the most honourable Place, we choose rather to assign it to the Man, because he is the Head of the Wife. The Lutherans do also use a Ring (as we) in Matrimony, which Rite or Ceremony it is likely sprung from that Custom which all Nations use to express their peculiar love to any Person, by the giving of a Ring. This Rite hath been antiently used at the investing of one into the highest Honours, thus Pharaoh invested Joseph, Alexander the Great thus advanced Perdiccas, and among the Persian Kings this was the way of declaring their chief Favourite; therefore among the Christians, by giving a Ring in Marriage, was not only intended a Pledge of the dearest Affection, but to declare we did assume our Wife into the highest Degree of Friendship and Trust, making her a Sharer in all our Counsels, and a Partner in our Honour and Estate. For this Reason the Ring hath continued in Christian marriages in all succeeding Ages in the Western Church, being placed on the fourth Finger of the Left-hand, which the Romans of old usually call'd Ring-Finger; and the Antients generally affirm, [21/22] that there comes a considerable Vessel from the Heart to this Finger, which therefore they thought ought to bear this Pledge of Love, that from hence it might be convey'd to the Heart: Besides, if we shall add that other Reason of placing the Ring on the least active Finger of the less used Hand, as being less subject to Wearing and Injury there, and so likely to remain longest in view; this may teach us, that married Persons should carefully preserve and cherish each others Love, that so it may remain for ever.
The Lutherans as well as we have an office for the Visitation of Clinicks, who are Persons confined to their Bed or Couch by some dangerous Illness. Alas! who can reckon the innumerable Diseases that infest us? The smallest Part of our Body may be the Subject of a Smart or Malady; a Tooth or a Nail, a Finger or a Toe may breed Vexation and Disquiet to us; and any of the Creatures that minister to our Necessities, may bring Distempers upon us. The Fire that warms us, the Water that cools us, the Air we breath in, the Earth we tread upon, the Food that allays our Hunger, the Drink that quenches our Thirst, a Fly or a Gnat may be the Occasion of our Sickness or Death. And doubtless, since Men are so universally liable to Sickness, that sooner or later, in some kind or other, all shall come into this Estate, it must be the Duty of every particular Person to prepare for it, and it did well become the Prudence and Piety of the Church to provide a peculiar Office for those in this Condition. The Visitation of the Sick is a Duty incumbent upon all; Nature taught the Gentiles this, for the Emperor Adrian visited not only his Friends, but his Soldiers in their Sickness twice [22/23] or thrice every Day, and took care they wanted nothing; but Christianity obliges us to it by higher Motives, when the Apostles makes it an Act of Religion, James i. 27. The last Part of this Office is both with us and the Lutherans consolotary, in allowing Absolution, which seems to be positively enjoin'd by the Apostles to be given to the sick Penitent by the Priest that comes to pray over him; the Prayer of Faith shall save the Sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed Sins, they shall be forgiven him, James 5. 15.
The Lutherans as well as the Church of England allow the Communion of the Sick, which giving the Sacrament the more antient Christians accounted and called the Viaticum; that is, the Provision which was to be made for this last and longest Journey; and the Canons of antient Councils (as Carranza shews us) do strictly enjoin the giving of the Eucharist to all dying Persons that were capable of it, Concil. Aransiac. Can. 3. Concil. Agath. Can. 11.
The Lutherans as well as we have an Order for the Burial of the Dead, for indeed all Nations do agree, that there is a respect to be had to the Dead, and it is generally accounted a barbarous Inhumanity to deny the Rites of Sepulture to our very Enemies. 'Tis true, the ways of treating the Bodies of the Dead have varied according to the Customs of particular Countries; but all civilized People consent in this, to perform Funerals with due Solemnity; the first and most natural manner is by burying them in the Earth, according to the Words of Abraham, Give me a Possession of a burying [23/24] Place with you, that I may bury my Dead out of my Sight, Gen. 23. 4. which seems to be the most antient of all others. The Romans themselves us'd this way at first, for Numa was buried, and all others till Cornelius Sylla's Time; who, having violated the Sepulchre of Caius Marius, and fearing the like would be done to himself, was the first Patrician that ordered his Body to be burnt after the Phrygian Manner; nor did this burning of dead Bodies continue any longer among them than till the Empire became christianiz'd, for then Inhumation began to be restored. But among all Nations, there was none excell'd the Egyptians in their Care of the Dead, embalming them in the most curious and costly Manner imaginable, which I believe to spring from their Belief of a Resurrection, or else it was done with a Persuasion, that the Soul doth not choose a new Body to inhabit, so long as its former Habitation remains uncorrupted; and certainly they did provide for this with exquisite Art, since many of the Bodies thus embalm'd near 3000 Years ago, are found intire at this very Day. As for the Interment of the Corpse, the Positure and Position thereof hath always been among the Christians to turn the Feet to the East, with the Head toward the West, that so they may be ready to meet the Lord, whom the Antients did believe should appear in the Oriental Part of Heaven. The Lutherans as well as we bury their Dead this way; and the old Inhabitants of Attica buries thus before the Days of Solon, who convinced the Athenians that the Island of Salamis did of right belong to them, by shewing them dead Bodies looking that way, and Sepulchres turn'd toward the East, as they us'd to bury.
 The Lutherans also with us allow the Thanksgiving of Women after Child-birth, commonly called the Churching of Women, which Practice of the Church in this Particular may reasonably be suppos'd to have begun in Imitation of the Blessed Virgin, who, though she was rather sanctified than defiled by the Birth of Jesus, and so had no need upon the Account of any legal Uncleanness to expect till the Days of her Purification were accomplished, yet her Humility and Modesty detain'd her so long, and then her Devotion brought both her and her blessed Son in her arms to the Temple, where she offer'd the Divine Infant and her Praises to Almighty God together. Luke 2. 22. And it is the more likely that the Usage was derived from hence, not only because the beginning of this Custom (though certainly very ancient)I s not exactly known, but also the Eastern Churches do still observe that Particular of bringing the Child with them, and her Mother presents it to God on her Churching-Day. With us in England, Custom only seems to determine the Time to be a full Month, and our Rubrick prudently says no more, but that it shall be done at the usual Time: And that we may give no Countenance to the Jewish Opinion of their Uncleanness, we admit them into the Church before any Prayers be said for them, and in most Places they come up to the Steps of the Altar, that being the proper Place to offer up the Sacrifice of Prayer, and to mind them of their Duty in receiving the Sacrament either then, or on the first Opportunity.
 The Lutherans also, as well as we, have a Penitential Office call'd the Commination, or denouncing of God's Anger and Judgments against Sinners, which was us'd in the Primitive Church in the Time of Lent, when they all fasted, and all repented in those blessed Days. How publickly and solemnly Penance and Mortification was perform'd of Old, as well in our own, as in foreign Churches, eminent Testimonies shew: for in King Edgar's Reign it was appointed that on Ash Wednesday, in the beginning of Lent, every Bishop sitting in his Episcopal Chair, all the notorious Offenders of his Diocess shall come before him, and having confessed their Faults, shall receive such Injunctions of Penance as their Sin requires; after this, on the Thursday before Easter, they shall all be gather'd together in the same Place, and the Bishop singing some Hymns over them, shall give them Absolution, and grant them leave to return Home with his Blessing. And the Order of the Gallican Church was the very same, in that their Parish Priests shall make all their solemn Penitents come to the Cathedral Church on Ash-Wednesday, where by the Bishop they shall be solemnly cast out of the Church, and on the Thursday before Easter, they shall come and be receiv'd into it again, which solemn Reception on that very Day, is as old in the Western Church, as the Time of Innocent the First; and it is likely the Expulsion which preceded it, is at least of the same standing.
Thus have we impartially shew'd how Parallel and Corresponding the Lutherans of Germany are both in Principles and their Liturgy to the [26/27] Church of England, to the general Satisfaction (I am sure) of all them who love Monarchical Government and Episcopacy, in Opposition to Anarchy and Confusion, so much admir'd in this Kingdom by some sort of People, from whose base Principles Good Lord deliver us.