Printed for J. Bettenham, at the Crown in Pater
Noster Row. MDCCXVIII
The Particulars are as follow, viz.
THE Rubrick orders the putting a little Pure Water to the Wine in the Chalice.
That this Custom of mixing Water with the Sacramental Wine, stands upon unquestionable Authority, may be prov'd by the following Testimonies.
I. Justin Martyr, where he gives the Emperor an Account of the Christian Worship, mentions the manner of celebrating the Holy Eucharist; And here he relates expressly, that [3/4] Water was mixed with the Wine. And here we may observe, that this Learned Martyr flourished in the middle of the Second Century, and was probably born before the death of S. John; that he describes the Practice of the Church in general; and that he liv'd in Palestine, the Country where the Christian Religion was first published: From all which we may fairly inferr, that had not the mixing Water with the Wine been an Apostolical Usage, and coeval with the Institution, it would not have been the general Custom thus early; neither would the Christians of that Age have been so hardy, as to venture upon an Addition in the Matter of so solemn a Mystery.
2. Irenaues declares for the same Usage. This Father, speaking of the Holy Eucharist, calls the Cup, the mixed Cup. (Adv. Haer. Lib. 5. Cap. 2.) And elsewhere, upon the Mention of the same Sacrament, he calls it Temperamentium Caelicis; which signifies the same Thing (Lib. 4. Cap. 57.)
3. Clemens Alexandrinus is another unexceptionable Evidence. His Term for the Eucharistick Cup is Krama; and he tells us plainly this Mixture was Wine and Water.
4. The Holy Martyr S. Cyprian, who flourished in the middle of the Third Century, is decisive in this Point: He plainly declares our Blessed Saviour mixed Water with the Wine at the Institution of this Sacrament; and that we are strictly bound to the same Observance. And elsewhere in the same Epistle, speaking of our Saviour's last Supper, his words are these: We are taught by our Lord's Precedent, That Water and Wine ought to be the Matter of the Sacramental Cup.
Several other Passages, as strong and determining as These, might be produc'd from this Father.
Farther, 'tis generally agreed, that our Blessed Saviour settled the Sacrament at his last Supper upon a Resemblance with the Paschal Solemnity: That this was done to promote the Conversion of the Jews, by making as little Difference as might be, between the Mosaick and Christian Institution.
Now the Learned Dr. Lightfoot observes from Maimonides and the Talmud, That the Jews mixed Water with their Wine at the Paschal Festival: This Mixture, because it made the Wine more pleasant, they reckon'd an Emblem of their Freedom; and that their Rescue from Egyptian Slavery was not well represented without it.
 For farther Proof that our Saviour's last Supper went upon a Conformity to the Jewish Passover, the same learned Author observes, that the third Cup of Wine which the Jews drank upon this Occasion, was called the Cup of Blessing; which Expression the Apostle makes use of in describing the Cup in the Lord's Supper (1 Cor. X. 16.) And that our Blessed Saviour, after himself and the Apostles had drank the Sacramental Cup, sung the customary Hymn or Hallell.
And agreeably to this Authority, the Apostolical Constitutions inform us plainly, that our Saviour, at the Institution of the Holy Eucharist, mixed the Cup with Wine and Water. These Words are spoken by the Priest in the Consecration Prayer, and addressed to God Almighty in the highest Circumstances of Solemnity. This, we may well imagine, would not have been done without good Grounds from Practice and Tradition to warrant it.
Now, tho' the Apostolical Constitutions won't answer quite up to the Title; yet that they contain a great Part of the Worship and Discipline of the Primitive Church, is beyond Question: And that their Antiquity is considerable, is generally granted.
 The Learned Catelerius allows them to be older than S. Epiphanius, who liv'd in the latter end of the Fourth Century. Cardinal Bona makes them Prior to the Council of Nice; and the famous De Marca gives them, at the lowest, the Age of the Third Century.
The Third Council of Carthage decrees, That in the Eucharistick Solemnity, nothing should be offered, but the Body and Blood of our Lord, that is nothing but Bread and Wine mixed with Water, as our Lord himself appointed, quam ipse Dominus tradidit.
The Sixth General Council in Trullo, tho' not in Chronological Order, shall come next.
Here the Council takes notice, 'That they understand the Armenians communicate only in Wine, without mixing Water with it: And that they pretend the Authority of S. Chrysostom for this Practice. But this, as they continue, is a great Mistake: For when S. Chrysostom govern'd in their Church, he order'd Water should be mixed with the Sacramental Wine, to represent the Blood and Water which flow'd from our Saviour's Side: And that the famous S. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea, taught and practis'd in the same Manner. [7/8] From hence they proceed to mention the Council of Carthage already cited; and then conclude their Canon thus; 'Therefore, if any Bishop or Priest does not officiate according to the Apostles Appointment; if he does not mix Water with the Wine, when he offers the Unblemished Sacrifice; let him be deposed, as one that represents the Mystery imperfectly, and innovates upon what was Delivered.'
To this it may be answered, 1st, That Wine is only mentioned, because 'twas the principal Ingredient. Besides, the Jews, at their Passover, call'd it the Fruit of the Vine, tho' it was mixed with water.
2ndly, The Fruit of the Vine to which our Saviour referrs, probably was not the Sacramental Cup, as we may collect from S. Luke's Description of this Solemnity. For, at the Institution of the Holy Eucharist, S. Luke relates, our Saviour took the Cup, without any Mention of what was in it. And here we are to observe, that S. Luke mentions two Cups; and describes [8/9] the Eucharistick Institution more at length than St. Matthew and S. Mark; that he was no less inspir'd than these: And therefore we are to explain their shorter Relation by the Supplemental Account of this Evangelist.
To fortify this Reasoning; We have no Pretence to question but that our Blessed Saviour, when he kept the Passover, made use of the same Drink which was customary upon that occasion: But the Jews mixed Water with their Wine, as has been already proved. And when Water was mixed with the Wine, they called it the Fruit of the Vine, as our Saviour does: But when 'twas drank unmixed, they termed it the Fruit of the Tree.
To apply this, 'tis most reasonable to suppose, that the Wine, blessed by our Saviour for the Holy Eucharist, was Part of that prepared for the Passover: And therefore, if the Paschal Cup was mixed, the other must be so too. Neither is the Silence of the Evangelists, concerning Water, any Disproof; For when Moses sprinkled the People with the Blood of the Covenant, there is no Mention of water being mixed with it. And yet the Apostle assures us, that Moses took the Blood with Water. [Hebr. ix. 19.]
To this we may add, That amongst the Greeks, Water mixed with Wine was denominated [9/10] from the principal Liquor, and only called Wine. [Plut. de Sanitate tuenda] And here we may observe the Mixture is called Krama, which is the Word Justin Martyr and Irenaeus make use of for the Eucharistick Cup.
Since therefore the Scripture no where declares there was only Wine in the Sacramental Cup; since, if 'tis expounded by the Jewish Paschal Custom, it determines for a Mixture; since the Case stands thus, ought we not to be govern'd by the Authority of the earliest Ages, by general Practice, and Catholick Tradition?
Neither is there any Reason to charge this Practice with approaching towards Popery. For the Church of Rome does not make mixing Water with the Wine necessary, as some of the above-cited Authorities plainly do. [Missal. Roman. Ritus celebrandi Missam.]
II. In the first Reform'd Liturgy above-mention'd, the Priest says, Let us pray for the whole State of Christ's Church, without the addition of Militant here on Earth; which latter Words, in the Common-Prayer now used, seem inserted to exclude Prayer for the Dead. Whereas the first Book, in the Prayer for Christ's Church, has these Words;--We commend unto thy Mercy (O Lord) all other thy Servants, which are departed hence from us with the Sign of Faith, and now do rest in the [10/11] Sleep of Peace: Grant unto them, we beseech thee, thy Mercy and everlasting Peace, and that at the Day of the general Resurrection, we and all they which be of the Mystical Body of thy Son, may all together be set on his Right Hand, and hear that his most joyful Voice: Come unto me, &c.
This Recommending the Dead to the Mercy of God, is nothing of the Remains of Popery, but a constant Usage of the Primitive Church: And for this Point we shall produce exceptionable Authority.
Tertullian is so full to the same Purpose; Oblationes pro defunctis, pro Natalitiis annuo Die facimus: That is, they mention'd the Names of the Deceas'd on the Anniversary of their Death, in the Prayers of the Eucharistick Sacrifice. And here this Father, recounting the Use of the Cross, the Ceremonies in Baptism, &c. adds, Harum & aliarum hujusmodi Disciplinarum, si legem expostules Scripturarum, nullam invenies: Traditio tibi praetendetur Auctrix, Consuetudo Confirmatrix, & Fides Observatrix: That is, If you require a Command in Scripture for these Usages, you will find none: The Practice stands upon a Bottom of Tradition, 'tis confirmed by Custom, and one Generation follows it upon the Credit of that which went before.
And here the Reader may please to take notice, that Tertullian flourished no less than [11/12] a hundred Years after the Death of the Apostle S. John. Now, if praying for the Dead was an ancient Custom in Tertullian's Time; if it stood upon a Foot of Tradition and ran up beyond the Memory of Man, which way can it be derived lower than Apostolical Conveyance?
The famous Bishop and Martyr, S. Cyprian, acquaints us, that one Victor had made Geminius Faustinus a Priest, a Guardian in his Will. For this Reason S. Cyprian gives Order, there should be no Prayer made for him at the Solemnity of the Eucharist.
And here he lays down this for a Rule, That if any of the Faithful should nominate a Clergyman in their last Will and Testament for any Guardianship or Civil Trust; his Name should not be mention'd, after his Decease, at the Eucharistick Sacrifice, nor any Recommendatory Prayer for his Repose put up for him at God's Altar: His Words are these: Non offeretur pro eo, nec Sacrificium pro Dormitione ejus celebraretur:--Non est quod pro Dormitione ejus apud vos fiat Oblatio, aut Deprecatio aliqua nominee ejus in ecclesia frequentetur: Neque enim apud Altare Dei meretur nominari in Sacerdotum prece, qui ab Altari Sacerdotes & Ministros voluit avocari.
The Apostolical Constitutions shall appear next. This ancient Liturgy stands thus;
Let us pray for our Brethren departed in the Faith of Christ: That the most merciful God, who has received the Spirits of the Deceased, would forgive all their voluntary and involuntary Failings, and that being restored to the Divine Favour, they may have a Place assigned them in the Region of the Blessed, in the Bosom of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the Company of those, where Pain, and Sorrow, and Dissatisfaction have no Access, &c.
In the next Chapter there is an Order for solemnizing the Funeral of the Dead with Divine Service; Psalms, Prayers, and Lessons, being appointed for this Purpose. The Anniversary of the Deceas'd is likewise ordered to be kept: But then all these Friendly Offices are only serviceable to those who lived well; for as to wicked People, if charitable Distributions were never so great on their Account, they would receive no Benefit by them.
St. James, Bishop of Nisibis, who made Part of the Council of Nice, and was famous for working Miracles; This holy Prelate pray'd for a dead Person, that God would pardon his Failing, and admit him into the Company of the Just.
Now if Holy Life, Orthodox Belief, and Working Miracles are not good Evidence for recommending a Practice, we must be at a Loss for sufficient Credit about this Matter.
 When Constantine the Great died, Eusebius informs us, That the Clergy and People pray'd fervently for his Soul. This the Historian calls doing an acceptable Office to his Imperial Majesty.
To proceed; S. Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, reports, that 'twas the Custom of the Church to pray for all the Faithful deceas'd in the Communion Service: That they believed the Offering the Publick Prayers, when the tremendous Sacrifice lay upon the Altar, was a very beneficial Assistance to the Spirits departed.
The Father illustrates this Truth by a familiar Instance: ''Tis objected, says he, what can the Mention of a Person at this Sacrifice, signify to his Soul, whether he dies charged with Sins or without them?
To this he answers; 'That, in case a Prince should be presented with a Crown by the relations of those fallen under his Disfavour, would he not be disposed to remit their Punishment? Thus, we, continues the Bishop, offer up our Prayers to God Almighty for the Deceas'd, tho' they are Sinners: And here we don't present a Crown or some such Trifle, but we offer the Memorial of Christ's Passion, who was slain for our Sins, that by so glorious an Oblation, we may [14/15] render the most benign Deity propitious both to them and ourselves.'
S. Ambrose, in his Funeral Oration for the Emperor Valentinian, speaking of this Prince, and his Brother Gratian, delivers himself thus: Beati ambo, siquid meae Orationes valebunt: Nulla Dies vos silentio praeteribit: Nulla Inhonoratos vos mea transibit oratio: Nulla nox non donatos aliqua precum mearum contextione transcurret: Omnibus Oblationibus vos frequentabo. That is, If my Prayers can prevail, neither of you shall be unhappy: No Day shall drop you out of my memory: I shall give you a Regard in every Address to God Almighty: The Revolution of the Night shall not be more constant than my Devotion upon your Account: And your Memory shall never be omitted in the Eucharistick Oblation.
S. Epiphanius affirms, prayers for the Dead a significant and serviceable Application: And makes the Rejecting this office Part of Aërius's Heresy.
S. Chrysostom, describing the Qualifications of a Priest, and with what Degrees of Vertue he ought to be furnished, tells us amongst other Things, That by his Office he is a Mediator for the Universe: That he intercedes with the Almighty in behalf of all Mankind, and begs the Divine Favour, not only for the Living but the Dead.
 S. Augustin declares, 'twas the Custom of he Universal Church to pray for the Dead. [De cura pro mortis gerenda. Edit. Basil.] Upon this Assertion, he proceeds to reason in Defence of the Usage. 'In the Maccabees, says he, we read of a Sacrifice offered for the Dead: But if we had nothing of this Kind to plead, the Custom of all Christendom is a considerable Authority: And thus, to insist on Matter of Fact, we find the Recommending the Dead every where makes Part of the Priest's Devotion at the Holy Altar.'
By the way, tho' we have good Reason to reject the Maccabees from being any part of the inspired Writings, yet the Testimony of the Author, as to Matter of Fact, is unexceptionable enough.
As for S. Augustin, his Testimony is farther confirmed by his Practice: He prays for his deceased Mother Monica, in a very warm affecting Strain: His Words are as follow; Deus cordis mei, pro peccatis matri meae deprecor Te: Exaudi me per medicinam vulnerum nostrorum quae pependit in Ligno, & sedens ad destram tuam te interpellat pro nobis: Scio misericorditer operatam, & ex corde dimisisse devita debitoribus suis: Dimitte illi & tu debita sua, siqua etiam contraxit per tot annos post aquam salutis: Dimitte, Domine, dimitte obsecro, nec inters cum ea in judicium:--Nemo a Protectione tua dirumpat eam, &c. In English thus; O God, I implore thy Pardon for my [16/17] Mother's Sins: Hear me, o God, for the sake of our Redeemer, who hung upon the Cross, and sits at thy Right Hand to make Intercession for us: I know her Mind was charitable and benevolent, and that she heartily forgave all Disobligation and Injury: And do thou forgive her all Failings and Offences, if her living so long since the washing of Regenration, has drawn any Blemishes upon her. Forgive her, O Lord, forgive her I beseech thee, and enter not into Judgment with her.-Let nothing remove her from thy Protection, &c.
To proceed; In the Liturgies of S. Basil and S. Chrysostom, now used by the Greek Church; in the old Gallican, and Mosarabick Missals; in the Ordo Romanus; and in almost all the rest cited by Cassander, we meet with Prayer for the Dead. These Authorities, tho' not so unquestionably ancient as the preceding, are several of them printed from Manuscripts more than nine hundred Years old.
This Custom neither supposes the Modern Purgatory, nor gives any Encouragement to Libertinism and Vice. Not to the latter, for S. Augustin, with the Apostolical Constitutions, affirms, that unless a Man dies qualify'd, that is, unless he has liv'd tolerably well, he can't receive any Assistance from the Prayers of the Living. That the ancient Church believ'd the [17/18] recommending the Dead a serviceable Office, we need not question; otherwise, to what Purpose was it so generally practis'd? The Custom seems to have gone upon this Principle, That supreme Happiness is not to be expected till the Resurrection: And that the Interval between Death and the End of the World, is a State of imperfect Bliss; the Church might therefore believe her Prayers for good People might improve their Condition, and raise the Satisfactions of this Period.
'Tis probably likewise the Ancients believed, that when a Man was Regular and Pious in the Main, some lesser Failings might not be accounted for upon this Score; and that some of the Rigors of the last Judgment might be abated; and some Faults, for which they might otherwise suffer in the Conflagration, be pass'd over. Upon these Grounds, this Usage seems to be founded.
Bucer, who reformed our Reformation, objects a text from the Epistle to the Romans against this Practice: Here 'tis said, What soever is not of Faith, is Sin. He argues thus; That nothing can be done in Faith, without an express Warrant from Scripture or what stands upon a Conclusion evidently inferr'd from some inspir'd Text: But prayer for the Dead stands upon neither of these Grounds, and therefore ought to be wav'd. But the Argument [18/19] proceeds stronger the other Way: For since Prayer for the Dead is no where condemned in Scripture, the Authority of the Church appears a very good Reason to remove Scruples, and settle the Persuasion of the Lawfulness of the Thing; which is the Meaning of that Place in this Epistle. To this Purpose, S. Augustin tells us, Quod universa tenet Ecclesia, nec Conciliis institutum, sed semper retentum est, non nisi Authoritate Apostolica traditum, rectissime creditor. That is, Whatever is held by the Universal Church, and always observed without being settled by any Conciliatory Decree, is rightly believed an Apostolical Tradition.
There is another Text urged in favour of Bucer's Opinion; Blessed are the Dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their Labours, and their Works do follow them. But this Place amounts to no Censure, either of the Primitive Practice or of our First reformed Common Prayer: For 'tis suppos'd, both by the Ancients and our First Reformed Liturgy, that the Dead are discharged from the Fatigues of this Life, that their Works follow them, and that they are happy as to the Main: However, it does not follow from hence, but that their Condition may be improv'd, and that they may be serv'd in some measure by the Assistance of the Living.
 And tho' Bucer's Amendments (as some fancy them) might affect the Communion-Service, yet 'tis not certain his Singularities reached all the Offices of the Common Prayer. Now we have already observed, that Prayer for the Dead does not imply Purgatory: From whence it follows, that tho' the Church of England condemns the Romish Doctrine of Purgatory, we can't from thence infer her Dislike of Prayer for the Dead. [Article XXII] Whether or no the Petition in the present Litany, Remember not Lord our Offences, nor the Offences of our Forefathers, &c does not reach the Deceas'd, is a Question. There is likewise a Prayer in the Burial Office, which seems to sound full to this Sense. [Almighty God, with whom do live the Spirits of them that depart hence in the Lord, &c.] Now where the Church of England has left her Meaning doubtful, the greatest Honour we can do her, is to interpret her to a Conformity to Primitive Practice.
Farther, The Holy Catholic Church, and the Communion of Saints, are Branches of the Creed: And the Notionof the Catholick Church, takes in the other World no less than this: Nay, those Deceas'd are certainly the biggest and the best Part of this Society. Now all Communion is design'd for Advantage, and supposes Intercourse and Exchange of Offices. And since the Church is but one, ought not the nobler Division share the common Privilege of the Body, and come within the Communion of Saints? But [20/21] if we do nothing in their Behalf, if we decline Praying for them, if we don't remember them at the Eucharistical Sacrifice (as was Anciently done) this Correspondence fails on our Side; and how then can we be said to hold Communion with them? And when we stand thus aloof from the noblest Part of the Catholick Church, may we not be said to maim the Creed, and strike off half an Article?
This Custom of Praying for the Deceas'd, which began in the Apostolical Age, and was continued through the whole Church till the Sixteenth Century; this Custom, we conceive, is very serviceable to the Ends of Religion: It supposes our Friends but remov'd to a distant country, and existing in a different Condition; and that they only die in one Place, to live in another: It refreshes the Belief of the Soul's Immortality, draws back the Curtain of the Grace, and opens a Communication between this World and the other. And had this Usage been kept on, 'tis possible we might not have had so much Scepticism and Infidelity amongst us.
To conclude this Head; If Prayer for the Dead stood less Recommended, it 'twas but barely Lawful, one would think Gratitude and Good-Nature should engage the Practice. 'Tis to be hop'd we are not wholly govern'd by Sight and Interest. Must our Affections expire with our Friends? Must Relation and Good Offices [21/22] be all thrown into the Coffin and forgotten? Can't our Inclinations come up without Temporal Prospect? Must our Memory be bribed to assist a departed Brother; and can Christian Charity do nothing, unless 'tis hired? This Conduct gives slender Signs of grateful Return, and Warmth of good Wishes; This looks not much like benign Temper and Largeness of Mind; and so we shall leave it.
III. The Third Passage to be Restor'd, is the Prayer for the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Sacramental Elements. The Words in our First Reform'd Liturgy stand thus in the Consecration Prayer: Hear us, (O Merciful Father) we beseech thee, and with thy Holy Spirit and Word vouchsafe to bless and sanctify these thy Gifts and Creatures of Bread and Wine, that they may be unto us the Body and Blood of thy most dearly Beloved Son Jesus Christ.
That this Prayer is an ancient Usage, may be proved by the following Authorities. O begin with the Apostolical Constitutions. And here the Order of the Words is very remarkable.
For, in the Consecration Prayer, after the Priest has pronounced these Words; This is my Body which is shed for many for the Remission of Sins.---This is my Blood which is shed for many for the Remission of Sins: After these Words, which, according to the Church of Rome, make such a mysterious Change in the Elements; after [22/23] these Words, at some Distance, this Prayer follows: We beseech thee that thou would'st favourably look upon these Gifts, and send thy Holy Spirit upon this Sacrifice, that this Bread may be made the Body of thy Christ, and this Cup the Blood of thy Christ, that those who partake of it may be strengthen'd for good Life, &c. Now this Invocation for the Descent of the Holy Ghost to make the Elements the Body and Blood of Christ, being spoken at some Distance after the Words pronounced by our Saviour at the Institution; it is plain, the Author of the Apostolical Constitutions did not believe the pronouncing the Words, This is my Body, and this is my Blood, either Trans or Consubstantiated the Bread and Wine: For, if our Saviour had been Corporally present, either by changing the Elements into his Body and Blood, or united to them by Consubstantiation; if this Effect had follow'd upon pronouncing these Words, This is my Body, &c to what Purpose should the Descent of the Holy Ghost have been afterwards Invok'd to make the Elements the Body and Blood of Christ? To what Purpose should this be done, when, according to the Trent Catechism, they were so already in the most full and wonderful Sense imaginable?
S. Cyril of Jerusalem instructs us, That the Eucharistick Bread is made the Body of Christ [23/24] by the Invocation of the Holy-Ghost, and is no longer to be accounted Common Bread.
Optatus, Bishop of Melevis's Testimony is full to the same Purpose. What, says he, can be more Sacrilegious, than to break down the Altars of God, upon which you have formerly offered? Where the Holy-Ghost has descended upon Invocation: And from whence we have received the Pledge of Immortality, the Guard of our Faith, and the Hopes of our Resurrection.
The famous S. Basil referrs to the known Form of Invocating the Holy-Ghost upon the Sacramental Elements of Bread and Wine, as one Instance of unwritten Tradition. [De Spiritu Sancto, Cap. 27.]
S. Chrysostom's Reprimand to some disorderly People, speaks to the same Sense: What! do you make a disturbance, when the Priest stands before the Table? when he lifts His hands towards Heaven to improte the Descent of the Holy Spirit? And here, where it necessary, a great deal more might be cited from this Father.
S. Augustin, in his Discourse upon the Trinity, affords farther Evidence: He tells us, the Bread and Wine are not sanctified, nor [24/25] rais'd to the Force of so great a Sacrament, without the invisible Operation of the Holy Spirit. Non Sanctificatur, ut sit tam magnum Sacramentum, nisi operante invisibiliter Spiritu Sancto.
This Prayer for the Descent of the Holy-Ghost, makes Part of the Liturgies of S. Chrysostom and S. Basil: And since these Passages agree with the uncontested Writings of these Fathers, we have no Reason to suspect them of Interpolation.
The same Prayer stands in the Gallican Liturgy, and in the Ordo Romanus, and in most of those mentioned by Cassander.
From all these Authorities it appears, the Prayer for the Descent of the Holy-Ghost was made for transfusing the mystick Virtue upon the Elements, and giving them the Efficacy of the Institution.
And tho' we are willing to believe, the Force of the Invocation may be contain'd by Implication in our present Office; yet since express Terms are more instructive and solemn, since this has been the Practice of the Antient Church, we can't help proffering the Form of the First Liturgy.
And that this is no Approach towards the Church of Rome, is evident from the Canon of the [25/26] Mass, where this direct Invocation for the Holy Ghost is omitted. The Prayer which comes nearest, is couched in the Words following;
Quam Oblationem tu Deus in omnibus, quaesumus benedictam, adscriptam, ratam, rationabilem, acceptabilemque facere digneris; ut nobis Corpus & Sanguis fiat dilectissimi Filii tui Domini nostril Jesu Christi.
But then here it must be granted, this Prayer carries, by Consequence, the Meaning of those above-mention'd, without remote Construction.
IV. The Fourth Thing to be restor'd, is the Oblatory Prayer, which in the First Reform'd Liturgy at the End of the Consecration Prayer stands thus;
Wherefore, O Lord and Heavenly Father, according to the Institution of thy dearly beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, we thy humble Servants do celebrate and make here before thy Divine Majesty, with these thy holy Gifts, the Memorial which thy Son hath willed us to make; having in Remembrance his blessed Passion; mighty Resurrection; and glorious Ascension; rendering unto thee most hearty Thanks for the innumerable Benefits procured unto us by the same, entirely desiring thy Father Goodness, &c. As the Prayer foes on in the Post Communion of our present Liturgy.
 The Oblatory Prayer goes upon this Ground, that the Holy Eucharist is a proper Sacrifice: And that our Blessed saviour at his last Supper, offered the Bread and Wine to God the Father, as the Symbols of his Body and Blood, and commanded his Apostles to do the same. And since this Truth is not contested amongst us; since 'tis plainly prov'd from Scripture by Doctor Hickes; since the Subject is exhausted by the Learned Mr. Johnson: We need only touch upon this Argument. For Scripture Proof, the Reader may please to take notice what Mr. Mede maintains upon this Head. This celebrated Divine, discoursing on Malachi i. 10, 11. delivers himself thus; Incense, says he, here notes the rational Part of the Sacrifice; which is Prayer, thanksgiving, and Commemoration; Mincha, the material Part thereof, which is Oblatio Farrea, or an Oblation of Bread and Wine. He asserts farther, that the Oblation of Bread and Wine is imply'd in S. Paul's Parallel of the Lord's Supper and the Sacrifices of the Gentiles; (1 Cor. x. 21.) Ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's Table, and the Table of Devils. And a little forwards he argues thus; The Passover was a Sacrifice, and therefore the Viands here, as in all other Religious Feasts, were first offered to [27/28] God. Now the Bread and Wine which our Saviour took when he blessed and gave Thanks, was the Mincha, or Meal-Offering of the Passover; if then he did, as the Jews us'd to do, he agniz'd his Father, and blessed him, by Oblation of those his Creatures to him. He likewise affirms the Eucharist to be a Sacrifice, not in a metaphorical, but proper Sense: And argues in a whole Chapter to prove, that the Primitive Church, after Christ's Example, first offered Bread and Wine to God; then received them again in a Banquet, as the Symbols of the Body and Blood of his Son.
To proceed in a Word or two: From the Words of Institution, DO this in Remembraqnce of me; the Learned Dr. Hickes observes, that the Word Poiein, used by our Saviour, signifies the same with erdein, ieropoiein, or ierourgein; That is, to offer or sacrifice: That the Septuagints Translation of the Old Testament, used Poiein in this Sense, as he proves by numerous Instances; and that this Version is follow'd by the Writers of the New Testament, and that where they cite Passages delivered by our Blessed Saviour.
The Dr. and Mr. Johnson argue farther from the Words of the Institution, from our Saviour's being an Anti-type to Melchizedek, who offered Bread and Wine (and nothing else, as far as we know) from St. Matthew v. 23. Therefore, if thou bring thy Gift to the Altar, &c. from I Cor. x. already mention'd, and from Hebr. xiii. 10. We have an Altar, whereof they have no Right to eat, which serve the Tabernacle. From all which Topicks, they prove the Name and Import of a Sacrifice properly attributed to the Holy Eucharist. To dilate upon their Reasoning would be too long for the Business in Hand; we shall therefore produce some Testimonies from Antiquity, and dismiss the Argument.
To begin with Clemens Romanus, the Apostles' Cotemporary: He speaks thus; All those Duties which our Lord has commanded us, ought to be performed in proper Time, Order, and Manner; and thus our Oblations and solemn Devotions ought to be circumstantiated; TaV te ProsforaV kai leitourgiaV epiteleisqai. And a little after 'tis said, Those who make their Oblations at the Time prescrib'd by our Lord, are acceptable and happy. And at some distance he continues, We should be guilty of no small Crime, if we should throw those out of their Episcopal Function, who offer the Gifts in a holy unexceptionable Manner.
Irenaeus, who liv'd in the Second Century, is full to this Purpose. Our Lord, says he, reminding his Disciples to offer to God First Fruits, took Bread, and gave Thanks, saying, This is my Body: He also call'd the Cup his Blood, and so [29/30] taught the New Oblation of the New Testament. This Institution the Church receiving from the Apostles continues the same Offering every where.
Then citing the Text of Malachi, Chap. i. ver. 7, 12. he inferrs, The Prophet has plainly signified, that the former People, the Jews, shall cease to offer; but notwithstanding this, a Sacrifice shall be offered to God in every place. And a little forward, he speaks thus; The Oblation of the Church which the Lord has commanded to be offered in all Places of the World, is accepted by God as a pure Sacrifice. And afterwards, in the same Chapter, he affirms, That not all Sacrifices in general are rejected: For there were Oblations in the Old Testament, and there are now Oblations under the New: There were Sacrifices amongst the Jews; and the Church has Sacrifices as part of the Service performed to God Almighty.
To proceed; The Apostolical Constitutions call the Holy Eucharist a Sacrifice in the Place already cited; and to the same Sense 'tis call'd an Oblation by the Nicene, Ancyran, and Neocaesarean Councils; to which we may add those of Gangra and Laodicea. S. Cyril of Jerusalem, and Chrysostom likewise call it a tremendous sacrifice: And S. Cyprian and St. Augustin frequently [30/31] speak the same Language. And in the Liturgies of S. Basil and S. Chrysostom, in Conformity to the Manner of Expression used by the Fathers, the Holy Eucharist is called an Unbloody Sacrifice.
Thus we see the Holy Eucharist has always been accounted a Sacrifice by the ancient Church: From whence may be inferred the offering it with prayer before 'tis made a Repast. That the Offering should be prior to the Eating, Regard to the Deity, and Natural Religion will teach us: And that Prayer was a Circumstance annex'd to the Oblation, is equally evident. Thus the Gentiles had their Sacrifices attended with Devotion: Thus Chryses and the Grecians made a Prayer to their pretended God, before they eat of the Sacrifice. Thus, in the Mosaick Worship, when Hezekiah restored the Temple Service, 'tis said, When the Burnt-Offering began, the Song of the Lord began also. And thus the learned Dr. Lightfoot observes, That the Jews offered Prayers with their Sacrifice. And that one of their Hallels preceded the Entertainment at the Passover. This Hallel was selected from those Psalms, which set [31/32] forth the Memorial of God's Goodness and Protection to that Nation.
And to give some Instances from the Christian Church: In the Clementine Liturgy the Oblatory Prayer follows the Words of the Institution; where, tho' the Prayer is longer, Part of the Sense and Expression is the same with that in our First Reform'd Communion Office. This Prayer stands likewise before the receiving the Consecrated Elements, in the Missals of S. Chrysostom and S. Basil.
Thus we have the Judgment of Antiquity on our Side in all the above-mention'd Particulars: Now, that the Authority of the Primitive Church may claim Preference to that of the Moderns, is sufficiently clear. The first Ages were Times of Zeal and Knowledge, of Disinterestedness and Courage, of Miracles and Martyrdom. The Fathers lived nearest the Apostles, and some of them conversed with them. From this Circumstance they had the Advantage of Traditionary Expositions. They must be best acquainted with the Proverbial Expressions of the Jewish Nation, with the Customs to which the Scriptures allude, with the Force and Phraseology of the Language: To which we [32/33] may add, extraordinary Illumination and supernatural Effusions of the Holy Spirit were not uncommon in the First Ages. And as for Matters of Government, Worship, and Ceremonies, the Antients have still a farther Claim to Regard: For here the Apostles Practice, and that of their immediate Successors, was an Evidence of their Approbation, and the best Comment on their Writings.
And now in the Close, it may not be amiss to inform the Reader what a high Opinion the Civil Legislature had of our First Common Prayer Book. The establishing Statute mentions it in the most honourable Manner; and declares, 'twas finished by the Aid of the Holy Ghost. And when Bucer's Animadversions, Calvin's Magisterial Cavils, and Peter Martyr's active Soliciting, had influenc'd the King and Council, and made an interest amongst the Clergy; when these Foreign Divines, who had little Regard for Antiquity, had prevailed for an Alteration; when this was done, and a Statute of Repeal pass'd, the First Common Prayer Book is called a very Godly Order, agreeable to the Word of God, and the Primitive Church, very [33/34] comfortable to all good People, desiring to live in Christian Conversation, and most profitable to the Estate of this Realm.
This is a noble Testimony: The First Book is said to be form'd upon the Doctrine of the Scriptures, and the Practice of the Primitive Church: And that 'tis very serviceable for the promoting Piety and Publick Advantage. This Commendation is given without Abatement: There's no Stroke of Censure, no Charge of Superstition, no Blemish either with respect to Doctrine or Ceremonies thrown upon it.
But if the Book was in this good Condition, why was it brought under a Review? Whay re some Parts expung'd, some added, and some transpos'd? The Statute accounts for this. There were divers Doubts risen for the Fashion and Manner of the Ministration of the same. Then it seems there was no Exception touching any Part of the Matter. But were these Doubts well founded? No; the Act says, they proceeded rather from the Curiosity of the Minister and Mistakers, than of any other worthy Cause. From hence we inferr, That the Explanations, as they are called in the Second Book, were not made without Complyance with the Weakness of some People: Not without Condescention to those, who had more Scruples than Understanding, more Heat than [34/35] Light in them. And thus, in the Judgment of the Parliament, the First Common Prayer Book was form'd by Divine Assistance, and Discharged by Human Infirmity.