LONDON: HATCHARD, PICCADILLY.
IN the present important crisis of the Scottish Episcopal Community, it would ill become me, the former Pastor, for many years, of St James' Chapel, a Trustee, and one of those who acted originally under the Trust-deed, to remain silent. The Scottish Communion Office has been brought prominently before the public eye; and it must now be vindicated and approved, or condemned, as being inconsistent with sound, Scriptural, and Protestant doctrine. Had the abettors of that Office been content with the anomalous position that it occupied under their former Canons--had they been content to use it only in their districts of the far north, where little inquiry was likely to be instituted, and the increase of Romanists gave it favour--there would not have been a moral compulsion to enter into a discussion of its merits. But, in the altered Canons of 1838, they have [3/4] changed their ground, and given to it a permanency which demands for it a searching investigation. In altering the Canon respecting the Communion Office, they have, in the first place, repudiated and struck out the term "Protestant," by which their community has been hitherto designated; and, in the next place, they have, in the same Canon, forced the approval of this Service on all their presbyters. And in so doing, they have materially narrowed the patronage of the trustees of chapels, who can now only make a selection for the pastorship, from among those who are prepared to communicate in this objectionable service. Such a material alteration in the terms of communion ought not to have passed sub silentio; and as it is now made known by the distressing circumstance of the very rash extrusion of the Rev. Mr Drummond from his charge, it has become highly needful to examine closely what the doctrinal features of that Office are. Such a composition must not be suffered to creep into a Church, very extensively composed of presbyters of English ordination, and obtain authority, without a rigid inspection of its merits.
An attempt has been made to show that any English clergyman entering Scotland, who does not join himself to the Scottish Episcopal community, and accept all her peculiarities, and submit himself to all her Canons, is, under any circumstances, guilty of schism. But there is a previous question to be determined by every such clerk, bound as he is by solemn signature [4/5] to specific tenets in doctrinal and practical matters in his own Church, whether or not a subscribed adhesion to another community, though episcopal, yet holding different views, is not in itself essentially schismatical? I propose to discuss this question; and am disposed to maintain that the alteration of the Canon on the Communion Office is of so serious and vital a nature, that it has given to the act of union by an English clerk an inevitably schismatical character.
A word or two, however, in the first place, as to the history of this formulary. It is not the Office of the English Church, adopted in the days of Edward the Sixth. It is not the Office of 1637, as we find it in the Book of Common Prayer for Scotland, which is usually called "Laud's Service-Book." Its origin is as recent as the year 1765, when the cause of Episcopacy was at its lowest ebb; and when the obscurity of the acting parties for its concoction afforded an absolute concealment and protection for all their procedure, however objectionable.
It appears from the Ecclesiastical History of Skinner of Longside, that "when the Revolution had broken the English clergy into two communions, many of the ejected clergy, and among the rest the celebrated Dr Hickes, thinking themselves no longer tied down, by parliamentary decrees in their sacerdotal ministrations, wished to revive those ancient usages which they saw the English Reformation had begun with, in the Eucharistic Service, of, 1st, Mixing water with the wine; [5/6] 2d, Commemorating the faithful departed, at the altar; 3d, Consecrating the elements by an express invocation; and, 4th, Using the oblatory prayer before distribution." This difference, which Skinner calls "a difference of sentiment, on so important a point," was not settled for many years; and, though pressed with very great earnestness by the English Non-jurors and their party in Scotland, was long and warmly discussed, and remained long a point of heated dispute. In the year 1723, the College of Bishops drew up and, published a Remonstrance in the name of the plurality of the College of Bishops: "Exhorting and obtesting all to shun these fatal rocks whereon others have been shipwrecked before; and requiring the clergy, in particular, to forbear the mixture, and other obsolete usages, and avoid the being accessory to the breaking of the peace of the Church, and the incurring our just and necessary censure." And in the year 1724, Bishop Gadderar, who was a great stickler for these peculiarities, promises, "that he will not insist upon introducing any of the ancient usages, which have not been authorised and generally received in this Church." Hitherto, then, themselves being judges, the Scottish Office, as it now stands, sanctioning these same "obsolete" peculiarities, was not of "primary" or any other "authority" in this Church. It did not exist.
So matters remained till after the year 1745, when the severity with which the adherents of Charles Edward were persecuted, very naturally diminished [6/7] the numbers and influence of the Episcopal clergy and their flocks; and at a time "when," as Skinner says, "many of the old race were going off the stage;" and amongst them those who had successfully protested against these innovations in the year 1765, the revisal of the Communion Office was undertaken by "two Bishops;" at a time probably when there was scarcely another to dispute with--and they had the matter all their own way. And this is, in fact, the true origin of an Office, which, concocted without the public eye upon it, as the salutary check of intrusive error, bears on it the stamp, of a palpable superstition, which is not to be found in the Office of Edward, when the Church was first breaking loose from the fetters of Popery; nor even in the Service of Laud, composed in the palmy days of the Archprelate's absolute authority! And this Service, which professes to compete with that of our venerable Liturgy, as of "primary authority," may properly be regarded as having no authority worth naming. The time at which the revisal took place, and the small numbers who approved it, are such as to deprive it of all weight. And it is only to be regretted that a body of clergy, rising in respectability and influence, desirous to symbolize with England, and professing to subscribe, ex animo, the English Formularies, should have at the same time pinned to their sleeve those lucubrations of the English Non-jurors, which never would have been admitted in England, where the real character of their theology [7/8] was well understood, which were, in fact, a contradiction to the averments of the English Office and Articles, and which had really nothing to recommend them, but the senile partialities of two obscure old gentlemen in a corner who, however respectable, were not the proper parties to originate, at so late a period of the world, and of the Reformation, a Communion Office of "primary authority!" And this is the Office, emanating from so small a conclave, and now used but by a mere handful of a Christian community, which an English clergyman, coming into Scotland, is required to acknowledge as of "primary authority;"--and if he does not fully approve and embrace it, as holding a superior position to that which he had beforehand pledged himself exclusively to use, and refuses a subscription to that effect, he is to be accounted a schismatic! Verily, it would be more easy to show that a declared preference for a formulary introduced into the Church on an authority so slight, would savour, in some degree, of a violation of his ordination vows.
As long as the declarations of the Scottish Canons went only so far as to allow those who approved of this Service to use it, and hold their own private opinions respecting it, intercommunion between the members of the English and Scottish Churches was not marred or interrupted. But there is now good ground to fear, that if the subscribed approval of this Office is to be made henceforth a sine [8/9] qua non of an English clerk's association with the Scottish Episcopal body, many will at once readily incur the hasty and baseless accusation of creating schism, to the palpable evil of attaching a primary weight and importance to language which contradicts their own venerable and venerated Liturgy, and their own deliberate subscription. And such is the recent origin, and such the questionable authority of the form, that it is really worth while for the Episcopal body in Scotland, looking as they do somewhat eagerly to English sanction and support, and desirous therefore to be regarded as in full communion, to consider whether it would not better serve their interests to let these usages and peculiarities, which have already caused many years of heart-burning among them in the days of their depression, sink into their deserved obscurity, that the community may henceforth symbolize entirely with that venerable Church, from which, in the year 1661, before, this Office existed, they received a renewal of the episcopate, and to which, therefore, in fact, they owe their allegiance. The pertinacious recognition of this Service will be a serious bar to entire union. The adoption of the Service of 1562, i. e. in Edward's time, or of 1637, in the days of Charles I. and Laud, would not be nearly so objectionable; but the Office of the "two Bishops," which, in an evil hour, has been emblazoned on the forehead of the Episcopal Church in Scotland, can be shown to present serious doctrinal obstacles, put forward in the [9/10] extremest form, to union on the part of many conscientious men. There can be little doubt that a very large majority of the English Clergy would hesitate to sign an approval of this Office; and if so, why, while the signature of approval to the English Formularies is required by the Canons, should another Office be thrust forward as a point of essential importance not to be conceded, which is evidently at variance with the English Office? What possible benefit can arise from supporting the English form with one hand, and at the same time holding up the recently revised Scottish form with the other, while discrepancies exist between them which no ingenuity can reconcile? That Office must be a fatal bar to full communion; and will, at any time, justify a separation which, on other grounds, cannot but be regretted. It is a needless division within the camp.
I proceed now to point out the very great and important difference which exists between the two Services in question. And, in the first place, it will be necessary to ascertain what are precisely the views of the English Church, as expressed in her authorised formularies;--and,
1st, This sacred Office is called "The Communion," or "The Holy Communion,"--a term which has direct reference to I Corinth. x. 16, "Is it not the communion (koinwnia) of the body of Christ?" i. e. according to Suicer, in his Ecclesiastical Thesaurus, particeps fieri, participationem [10/11] habere, to be a partaker; and he gives this illustration from Damascenus: "Communio dicitur quia per eam Christo communicamus, ejusque carnis et divinitatis particeps fimus, quia etiam per illam inter nos communionem habemus et unimur." And the nature of this communion or participation is very distinctly shown in the Catechism; which states, that there is "an outward part or sign," which is "bread and wine, which the Lord hath commanded to be received;" and there is "an inward part, or thing signified," which is "the body and blood of Christ, which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper." And the XXVIII. Article confirms this same view, with great accuracy; for, having affirmed that, "to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ," it states, by way of caution and explanation, "The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner; and the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten, in the Supper, is faith." So that, to the unbelievers there is nothing in the elements but the bread and wine. They are in no wise partakers of Christ; and, though they eat to their condemnation, they eat only the "outward sign." In the prayer of consecration also, the same view is fully admitted "Grant that we, receiving these thy creatures of bread and wine." It [11/12] seems impossible not to admit that the English Church contemplates no change whatever to have taken place in the substances. Though set apart to be outward signs, symbols, or sacraments of something else, they are considered to remain precisely what they were; and at the close of the Office it is to this effect deliberately affirmed: "The sacramental bread and wine remain still in their very natural substances." And, consequently, after consecration, the rubric runs thus: "When he delivereth the bread to any one, he shall say," &c. And then the address to the communicant is, "The body of our Lord, &c., (which is only eaten after a heavenly and spiritual manner, only received by faith,) preserve," &c.--"Take and eat this, (i.e. this bread; this creature of bread--this outward and visible sign,) and feed on Him in thy heart by faith, with thanksgiving." The distinction is made at the time of communicating, in the most marked manner; between "this," the bread that is "carnally and visibly pressed with the teeth," and "Him" who is only received and eaten in the heart by faith.
Doubtless an argument will be raised, the argument of Rome most assuredly,--that as our Blessed Lord said of the bread, "This is my body;"--and as, consequently, that could be afterwards affirmed of it--that it was the body of Christ, which could not be before the consecration; therefore, it mast have "become" in the interim that which it was not before; and, consequently, that it s not then the mere natural substance [12/13] of bread, but in a mysterious sense--the very body of Christ.
To this our reply at once is, that, whatever may be the ingeniousness and the mystification attempted by the argument, the Church of England has answered it by her express declarations. The plain and strong commonsense of her Formularies dispels all this mystification, and she declares that the "very natural substance of the bread remains;" there is no change; the bread has not in the interim "become" what it was not before; and any one who believes that it has, is at absolute variance with the well defined tenets of the English Church. And be it remembered, that the question, at this time, s not the abstract discussion of a theological point; but with a special view to the question of intercommunion, the determining what are the several pronouncements of the Scottish and English Formularies on a particular subject. The Tenet of the Church of England stands forth without the possibility of mistake; it is this: "There is no change in the substance. The very natural substance remains. Our Lord's saying, 'This is my body,' neither affirms nor implies any change whatever."
Still, however, the question will recur, Then, in what sense does the Church of England understand the saying of our Lord? Evidently, in the same way in which she would understand any other strong symbolical expression, "I am the true vine," "I am the door." The bread is used, on the abrogation [13/14] of animal sacrifices, in the most simple and plain manner, to represent retrospectively that which the flesh of animals represented prospectively before. It does this effectually, as an outward means, or religious rite, in the exercise of faith on the risen and glorified Saviour; and it does no more. The part of the bread and wine is only a figure.
When the astronomer wishes to illustrate the proportions of the solar system, he places on a bowling-green a wooden ball, about two feet diameter, and says, "This is the sun." At certain distances he places a pea, a plum, and orange, and says, "This is the Earth; this is Jupiter," &c. The symbol serves its purpose; and no one, however ignorant, so misunderstands the strong figurative language, intended thus to bring the relations of these several bodies powerfully to the mind, as to mistake the wooden ball for the sun, or the pea for the earth; or to conceive that there is any mystic sense in which the sign has "become" the thing signified. Now, the difference between the great luminary and the wooden ball is not so great as the difference between the element of bread and the once suffering and now glorified body of the enthroned Redeemer. The bread serves, by the wise appointment of our Divine Teacher, to represent his body. Any other substance which he had chosen might have done so; but, from the range of his creation, he has made the wisest selection. It serves the purpose admirably. It is set apart sacredly for the purpose, by [14/15] strong, unequivocal language. It is an emblem, a symbol, a representation and no more. And, as to the symbolic elements "becoming" anything more or higher, the idea is a vain and carnal figment, seriously derogatory to the honour of our Blessed Redeemer's glorified body; and essentially perverting the gracious object of his institution.
So far, then, the view of the English Church in her Formularies is ascertained. The Lord's Supper is a partaking of the body and blood of Christ through the obedient and faithful receiving of bread and wine.
In the next place, the English Church has entirely rejected the idea of the Lord's Supper being an offering or sacrifice, It is true, that the whole Service is called "a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving;" and so, undoubtedly, in the full sense in which the terms are there used, might the morning or evening daily worship be called "a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving;" but this has nothing whatever to do with the question of the Lord's Supper's being, as respects the elements, an offering or sacrifice; and they who thus argue, from the mere occurrence of the word "sacrifice" in the post-communion prayer, must either be insincere in purpose, or strangely obtuse in intellect. The English Church has not only ceased, according to the Romish form, to offer up the elements of bread and wine; she has removed the Altar from the Church, and substituted a table instead of it; she has shrunk even [15/16] from the use of the word "Altar," which occurred in her earlier Prayer Book--that of Edward VI.; and, instead of it, the word "Table" is invariably used--in I fact, as many as twelve times in the course of the Office and its rubrical instructions; and, so far from adopting the Romish error of a renewed and perpetual offering, the consecration prayer opens with the acknowledgment, "That our Lord made there (on the cross) by his one oblation of himself, once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world;" and then proceeds to state that "he did institute, &c., a perpetual memory of that his precious death."
And, in consistency with this statement, every feature of the Romish Service which might favour the idea of an offering or sacrifice has been repudiated; and the notion only of a "memory," or "commemoration," or" remembrance," and of "communion" thereby, has been retained. And this is the reason of the prominent importance given to "the Table," in our Service. The distinction between a table and an altar is a vital one. We have no business with an Altar, unless we have a victim, a sacrifice to offer. But we have no such victim; ours is not a sacrifice; it is only an eating in memory of the "one sacrifice once offered."
When the sacrifice had been offered on the altar in the Jewish temple, the portion proper to be eaten was removed from the Altar to a Table, when the offerer partook of it in memory of the recent sacrifice. The [16/17] Lord's Table is the parallel, or is analogous to that Table, and not to the Altar. It could not be eaten on the Altar. The portion that we at is analogous to the portion of the animal sacrifice eaten by the offerer and the priests at the Table; and the notion of a sacrifice being offered on that Table should no more enter our minds than it would have done into the mind of the Jewish worshipper. The evident Purpose of the. symbolic service is to bring the worshipper, by faith, into. a near and lively consciousness of the one sacrifice already offered; and, s he kneels at the Table to partake of the fest instituted upon this one sacrifice, to enable him to overleap the hiatus of the whole Christian era, and to feel himself in instant contact with the one offering on the altar of the cross, without the camp, and sympathizing with the Lord in all the lively and painful reality of his "agony and bloody sweat, his cross and passion."
It will be said, however, that, as there was in the worship of prospective faith, anterior to the death of Christ, a sacrificial offering, so also should there be in the worship of retrospective faith. And on this ground --not because of any fact or teaching to this effect in our Saviour's simple institution, but to complete the parallel, in all parts, between the Christian and the Mosaic service--there should be introduced, in addition to the partaking and remembrance, an oblation of the consecrated elements on an altar. But we say, Not so! The teaching of revelation has determined [17/18] otherwise. And St Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, shows that, till Christ came, sacrifices were appointed to be offered, "which could never take away sins;" but that, "Christ being come," and having "by one offering for ever perfected them that are sanctified," all such formal and imperfect sacrifices must case; for, "where remission of sin is, there is no more offering for sin." Excepting the one great atoning sacrifice, there never was any other offering for sin but formal and symbolical sacrificed. The Apostle's statement, therefore, evidently is, that all such should cease. It could refer to no other. Such offerings, when prospective, were of use. They led the mind towards a yet undeveloped mystery. After the coming of the antitype, and the open declaration of the remission of sin through the one sacrifice, they would not only be vain, but injurious. They would lead the mind away from the great offering; and, consequently, St Paul teaches that there is to be no longer suffering offerings for sin. There is but one offering--the real and true one. This is present perpetually to the mind by faith; and, while that part of the emblematic worship which commemorates the atoning death is retained, that part which typified the sacrifice is annulled, and done away, as useless. It could only bring the mind down to earth; it could only impede the true "discerning of the Lord's body;" it could only be an extra and unnecessary element in the figurative worship. The one offering for the remission of [18/19] sin had been made upon the cross; faith comes in direct contact with this offering; takes thankfully the emblematic portion appointed to be eaten; and thus partakes, with thanksgiving, of the body and blood of the atoning Saviour. The commemorative service is one which associates us, not with a repeated offering, either formal, mystical, or transubstantial; for none of which is there a shadow of authority; but directly, intimately, and by powerful and lively appropriation with "the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." This is the rational view which the Church of England has taken of the Lord's Supper. And she has given this unequivocal and unmistakeable marking to her Office. She has swept the sanctuary clean of any remnant or semblance of an offering for sin, yet, in any form, however covert and surreptitious, to be offered by man. She has no sacrificial or sin-offering to make. She shakes the unscriptural notion with alarm from her garments. She has no victim to offer up; and she has no altar on which to place it. She has only a Table where her children receive the "creatures of bread and wine, according to Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, and thereby become partakers of his most blessed body and blood."
This is her plain and straightforward teaching; and honest men who subscribe to her Formularies must hold, ex animo, to that teaching, or leave her borders. And, if they are called upon, when dwelling beyond the range of her discipline, to subscribe or use another Office, it [19/20] behoves them to consider well the unequivocal distinctness of their previous averments, by an earlier bona fide subscription, and the risk, that in a matter of great moment, they may peril their consistency.
It remains now to show, that the Scottish Communion Office of 1765, which was arranged in an obscure corner by two persons of no weight or authority, but who happened to have outlived their strenuous opponents, inculcates a totally different view of the Lord's Supper from that which the Church of England has taken.
I shall not enter upon the trifling question of the Mixing of Water with the Wine, iron that of Prayer for the Dead; but shall limit myself to the two points on which I have already exhibited the clear views of the English Church, viz., a change in the substance of the bread and wine, and a sacrificial offering of them to God. There can be no fair question, that on these two very important points the present Scottish Office of 1765 is essentially opposed to the doctrines of the English Reformation.
The first important point of difference is, that in the Scottish Office there is a sacrificial offering. And this is not the mere offering of what is called "the gifts," viz., the bread and wine for this holy use, as some of the apologists of this Office affirm; for this offering, of which they speak, takes place previously, immediately after the offering of the oblations of the people, as [20/21] appears by the following rubric: "And the Presbyter shall then offer up, and place the bread and wine prepared for the Sacrament upon the Lord's Table." Even for this offering there is no scriptural authority. It is, at best, a mere puerility. The bread and wine are God's gifts to us, not ours to Him; and such an offering, on our part, is totally gratuitous and uncalled for. I only notice it here, to show that the argument founded on it, in favour of the offering subsequent to consecration, is a false one; inasmuch, as "the gifts," as they call them, have been "offered up" before.
But whatever some apologists for this Office, with uneasy conscience, may say, of this kind, in order to excuse the offering, the honest and unshrinking defenders of the Office speak openly in favour of the offering up sacrificially to God of the consecrated elements. Mr Skinner, of Forfar, quotes with approbation the following sentence from Archdeacon Daubeny: "The Church of England, considering the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper to be a feast upon a sacrifice; the Scottish Episcopal Church, to constitute it such, makes that which is feasted upon first a sacrifice, by having it offered up by a priest;" and affirms also, that the "Scottish Office clearly establishes this doctrine of a sacrifice." And again quotes from another author, to show, "That it is a sacrifice representative of Christ's own meritorious sacrifice of himself; a sacrifice made to God, to put him in mind, as it were, of the all-sufficient sacrifice of his Son." And he affirms it to [21/22] be so far similar to the Jewish sacrifices, that, in fact, it is s much an offering for sin as those bygone offerings in the temple, of which St Paul says," They have ceased to be offered," because, "where there is remission of sins, there is no more offering for sin." Mr Skinner also quotes approvingly from Wheatley: "The Holy Eucharist was, from the very first institution, esteemed and received as a proper sacrifice, and solemnly offered to God upon the altar before it was received and partaken of by the communicants;" and then he sums up the view of the Scottish Office in these words, "This doctrine of a proper material sacrifice."
We cannot but gather from this, that not only in, the Scottish Office is there an offering of the bread and wine, when laid on the table, similar to that which occurs in the Romish Mass; but also, that subsequently to the consecration of the elements, there is also, similar to the Mass, another offering, or material sacrifice of the consecrated elements, be they by consecration what they may, and whatever be the mystic change which they are supposed to have undergone. Now, let it be observed, that neither in King Edward VI.'s Office, nor in Laud's Scottish Service-Book, is there any such offering or material sacrifice. The words of what is called, in Laud's Office, "The Memorial, or Prayer of Oblation," are only these, "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," &c. But now, before we look [22/23] at the Scottish "Oblation," as it is called in the rubric, let us note the words of the Romish "Oblation:" "Having in remembrance his blessed passion, and not only his resurrection from the dead, but his glorious ascension, we offer before thy renowned Majesty an immaculate sacrifice, a holy sacrifice, an immaculate sacrifice, or host., (hostiam,) the holy bread of eternal life, and, the cup of perpetual salvation." This is the language intentionally used, as expressive of a true propitiatory sacrifice. It satisfies the believers of that great error.
Now, what says the Scottish Office? In language widely differing from any other Protestant Office; in language running parallel precisely with the Romish Mass-book; in language selected by two obscure individuals, in a time when no one looked after their
doings, it says, "We, thy humble servants, do celebrate and make here before thy Divine Majesty, with these thy holy gifts, which we now offer unto Thee, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make, having in remembrance his blessed passion and precious death, his mighty resurrection, and glorious ascension." Hence, it appears, that the words of the Scottish Office are essentially the very words of the Mass, excepting one clause, in which it has substituted for "Hostiam puram, hostiam sanctam, hostiam immaculatam," &c., the manifestly indefinite and dubious expression, "the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make"!!! And who shall say that they who would run so near the wind as to take, in every other respect, [23/24] the express words of the Mass, did not intend, when they took refuge in a sentence to which any one may attach his own meaning, to leave themselves open to imply all that the Romish Office fearlessly asserts? Why have they put aside Archbishop Laud's form, which is called a "memorial" of Christ's death, and an "oblation" of praise and "thanksgiving," and introduced the very language of Rome, in the most objectionable part of her idolatrous service?
In the next place, the Scottish Office evidently understands that there is a change in the substance of the elements by consecration; so that, in the sacrificial offering, the priest has somewhat to offer more than bread and wine. The proof of this is,
1st, That a change is deliberately asked. Not in Edward VI.'s Service, not in Archbishop Laud's; but only in the recent Office of 1765, it is asked, "Vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy Word and Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that they may become the body and blood of thy most dearly beloved Son." The same power is invoked to make these elements the body and blood of Christ, which so converted the substance of the Blessed Virgin; and language cannot be more specific and direct. The language of the Mass is not so strong: It is, "ut fiat nobis corpus et sanguis dilectissimi Filii tui,"--that it may be to us.
2dly, That a change of some sort is acknowledged. In the rubric, before distribution, the English Service [24/25] and the old Scottish, (or Laud's Service,) say, "When he delivereth the bread, he shall say;" but the Office of 1765 puts away this very important avowal, and substitutes for it, "When he delivereth the sacrament of the body of Christ to others, he shall say." Why expunge that vitally important word?
3dly, Immediately after this putting away of the term "bread," and using in its stead the sacrament of the body of Christ, the priest distributes it, saying, in the very words of the Mass, and no more, "The body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life;" and if farther consecration is required, the priest is directed to use the previous form, to the words "that they may become the body and blood of thy most dearly beloved Son;" and then, immediately after so saying, proceed to distribute, saying of that over which he has so prayed, "The body of our Lord Jesus Christ," &c.
4thly, Immediately after the words of consecration, (which all the great Romish Doctors hold to be effective of the Divine change,) at the precise time in which the same thing is done by the Mass-priest--the Priest, standing with his back to the people, as the Mass-priest does, elevates or holds up in his hands the consecrated elements. This is done in the Romish Mass, for the adoration of the people, according to a rubric; but the remarkable feature of the Scottish Office is, that this elevation has been observed by tradition, and not by rubric. The "two [25/26] Bishops," even in those days of obscurity, did not dare to insert a rubrical. Instruction for the elevation; but they took care that, this peculiar feature of the, Mass was retained in practice; and, at the very time when he offers to God ("which we now offer unto thee") the "sacrament of the body and blood, of Christ," he lifts it 'up, according to the Romish general, rubric, "elevat eum, erectum, quantum commode potest et ostendit populo adorandum!" Why this perfect similarity in act? Why this rubrical difference and concealment? What object in elevating the elements at all, if not the Romish one? The whole affair is very suspicious, and very unlike the English Office.
Evidently, then, the whole aspect of this arrangement seem intended to introduce, surreptitiously, into the Communion Officer the doctrine of a change in the sacramental elements, contrary to the doctrine of the English Church. In every point but one, (the use of the words hostiam puram, &c.) the Office is that of the Mass-Book. A change by the Holy Spirit, into the body and blood of Christ, is asked and acknowledged. It is offered to God in the same way. It is elevated before the people in the same way. There is a studied adoption of the Office of the Mass. There is one omission, certainly, but it does not look towards the Protestant doctrine; rather, as a deliberate and intentional omission, it is fatal to the service. The Romish prayer is, "Ut fiat nobis corpus Filii tui;"--that it [26/27] may became to us the body of thy Son. The "two Bishops" left out this unspeakably important distinction, and inserted absolutely and without qualification, "That it may become the body of Christ." And there is a very important historical fact, of which, after so much and long controversy, they must have been aware, which makes the omission completely condemnatory of their purpose. When Archbishop Laud was charged, at his trial, with introducing Transubstantiation into, the Scottish Service-Book, on the ground of the words of the Prayer, "that they may be unto us," he defended himself, by affirming that ut fiant nobis implies, clearly, that they are to us, but are not Transubstantiated in themselves into the body and blood of Christ. "This addition," he says, "is an allay in the proper signification of the body and blood of Christ. They become the body and blood to us that communicate as we ought."
Now, it appears, that after the Archbishop had rested his defence on the qualifying words, "ut fiant nobis," and had shown, that in his opinion, without that qualifying clause, the sentence must fairly be understood as affirming Transubstantiation, these two very incautious, or very artful men, leaped the boundary of Romish moderation and Laudean prudence, struck out the term of "allay," on which Laud rested his defence, and in which even Rome had enveloped her error; and, contrary to the practice of all Christendom, asked broadly, boldly, and nakedly, that the bread and wine might BECOME the body and blood of Christ!
 Manifestly, therefore, the wise and logical mind of the Archbishop, his own autobiographic account of his trial, his own written defence, as part of historic truth, have nailed the doctrine of Transubstantiation irredeemably to this "hole and corner" production! With "ut fiant nobis," there would at least have been room for quibbling, perhaps even for something worse; without it, there is no room for escape whatever. All qualifying clauses are purposely given to the winds, and the Romish error is asserted more broadly than it is by Rome herself!
Having now examined the Office for the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper in the Church of England, and also the form professing to be the Scottish Communion Office, it remains only to consider the difficulty that must arise lo any Clergyman of English Orders, who has been ordained, on his subscription to the English Book of Common Prayer, as to affixing his signature of approval also to another and differing Liturgy.
Every Presbyter of the English Church declares his unfeigned assent and consent to the Book of Common Prayer; and is held bound by the Act of Uniformity, 13 and 14 Charles II., "to use the Morning and Evening Prayer, celebration and administration of the Sacraments, in such order and form as is mentioned in the said Book!" And by the 36th Canon of the Canons of James I., in 1603--which Canon he subscribes at his ordination--he is required to declare, "that he himself will use the form in the said Book prescribed, in Public [28/29] Prayer, and administration of the sacraments, and NO OTHER." There cannot well be a more distinct and specific limitation.
The English Presbyter pledges himself, by his ordination vows, not to use "any other" Office in the administration of the Lord's Supper. And, certainly, if he is a faithful son of his mother, he will hold this binding on him, wherever he may wander beyond her border, unless he shall see conscientious reason for separating from that Communion in which he received his orders; but to remain in communion with the English Church, and to adopt another Office for the administration of Sacraments, is surely to be guilty of a violation of his deliberate engagements, and a disobedience of the authority by which he ministers. The Sacramental Offices necessarily involve, in their terms, ......which have been seriously weighed, and only adopted after very mature deliberation--too much important and essential truth, for any Presbyter of a Liturgical Church to be at liberty to change those Offices at pleasure; and on that ground, as fencing the very penetralia of the Sanctuary, is every one required to declare, "Non aliam sit observaturus," THAT HE WILL NOT USE ANY OTHER.
The duty, then, of uniformity is absolutely binding. Even if a form for the administration of the Lord's Supper were presented to our notice, which differed only in language and in formal modes, without in the least degree altering the doctrinal averments of the [29/30] English Office, we have no liberty either to communicate in, or to administer by, such a different form. How much more, then, are we precluded from such irregularity in the case of the Scottish Office, when it presents to us, according to Mr Skinner, "difference of sentiment of the most important kind?"
In the history of the English Liturgy we find, that in the 5th Edward VI.--that is, in the second Service-Book of his reign--"some things were allowed which showed a compliance with the- superstitions of those times; and there was especially left out what tended to a belief of Christ's real presence in the Eucharist."--Burn's Eccl. Law. And, again, by the Act of Uniformity of the 1st Elizabeth, two sentences were added in the delivery of the Sacrament. "Of the two forms now used at the delivery of the bread and wine, the first part of each (to the word 'life' inclusive) was in the Book of the 2d Edward VI., but not the second parts; but in the Book of the 5th Edward VI. was the second part; without the first; but the alteration made by virtue of this act (1st Elizabeth) was the inserting of both sentences as they now stand."--Gibson, 268; Burn's Eccl. Law.
In the reign of Charles I., however, Laud and the Scottish Bishops agreed upon an alteration of the English Liturgy and a Service-Book was adopted, with all proper sanction of royal and ecclesiastical authority, which did, in fact, lean to some of those peculiarities which Edward's second Prayer Book, and Elizabeth's [30/31] also, had renounced; and which tended to imply a belief in the corporeal presence of Christ in the Sacrament.. It is unquestionably less scriptural and Protestant than the English form.
Now, had it been a question at this present time, whether an English clerk could subscribe, when resident in the kingdom of Scotland, that form so differing from the English, although sanctioned by all proper authority, a man of straightforward mind must have determined that he could not. And the fault would not lie with him. The Scottish Clergy insisted on another Book. They would not be bound by the English Book. Then they must take the inevitable consequences of their act--a want of union--a want of full communion and unity of the two Churches And it would surely be felt to be a matter of very great regret that, owing to some superstitious leanings, these few changes in the Sacramental Office should properly and justifiably impede the full intercommunion of the Churches.
But the case is widely different now. Not satisfied even with the royally and ecclesiastically sanctioned Service-Book of 1637, and with its manifest leanings toward Romish error, the Clergy of the Episcopal Communion in Scotland were, at an unfortunate period, determined to go much further and fatally in the same course; and, after a struggle of one hundred years from the days of James II. And the Nonjuring schism in England, during which a small but restless minority kept the Church in a continual and heated [31/32] controversy, but during which the "plurality of Bishops" long effectually protested and prevailed against the introduction of any other Office but that of the English book; in an evil hour the cause of superstition and of Rome prospered. The Clergy had, in 1765, by what may, at least, be called a romantic and non-national adherence to the Romanist descendants of a Romanist abdicated King, brought themselves into discredit and persecution. Their numbers declined; their publicity ceased; the Clergy of sounder views, both of loyalty and religion, left the communion; and then, when the few surviving Prelates had attained to the maximum of power, because they had only to encounter the minimum of resistance; in a time when honourable faithfulness to their trust required them to alter nothing, they could not resist the temptation which obscurity and insignificance administered; they rushed forward to lay their hand most rashly on the ark; and in the hour when they most bitterly suffered for the imputation of a political, and religious leaning to Romish interests, did they new-model the Scottish Communion Office, after the very terms and modes of the Mass-Book. These alterations, serious, extensive; and vital as they are, have no authority. Such a handful of men might, in their obscurity, have ventured so far as to use what mode they pleased, as individuals; but that they were to alter and to prescribe for a Church which had once been national--that they were to cut and, carve upon a Liturgy of Royal sanction--that they were to avail [32/33] themselves of a mere fortunate juncture of superiority for Romanizing the most sacred Offices of a Protestant Church--and that these "impertinent" intrusions are now to be dictated to English Clergy, as absolutely necessary to be adopted, under pain of the charge of schism--is not to be borne!
The English Office denies that there is any change in the substance of the bread and wine, and. abstains purposely from any offering of either, as unscriptural. The recent Scottish Office, of obscure and schismatic origin, follows most servilely and literally the Romish form, and maintains an offering of the gifts at the outset--a change in the elements by consecration--an offering of the changed elements to God, as a material sacrifice, and, an elevation of them to the people.
Can the Clergyman who has subscribed the English Office ex animo, and proscribed himself from using "any other," now subscribe and, use an Office so widely and essentially differing from his own? Most assuredly not! However amicably he may wish for union, however he may desire the advantage of Prelatic superintendence, yet to sign an approval of this "Scottish Office," as it is too readily called, is a schismatical departure from his original engagements. It is quite impossible for him to declare, by subscription, that there is a material sacrifice in the Eucharist, and that there is not that there is a change in the substance of the elements, and that there is not; to maintain that "the Sacramental 'bread and wine' may not be adored, for that [33/34] were idolatrous;" and yet to hold up the elements in the same way, and at the same point in the service, in which the Romish Mass-Priest holds them up ad adorandum! Yet to this the incautious adoption of Canon XXI., at the revision in 1838, has reduced the English Clergy. Till then, an English Clergyman might safely minister in communion with his Scottish brethren, for they kept their Romish morsel to themselves; they kept it beyond the Grampians: It never appeared in the Chapels of its warmest abettors in Edinburgh. But now, since an ominous movement has occurred in favour of heretical speculations at Oxford, and the peculiarities of the English Nonjurors are to be laid in the path of the Church, as stepping-stones towards Rome, another step also is very quietly and noiselessly taken in the same unhappy road by the Scottish Episcopal Clergy; and that which, having ascertained its history, we may fairly call the Pseudo-Scottish Office, is to be forced upon the subscription of all the English Clergy officiating in the pale of the Scottish Communion!
There cannot, however, be a doubt that any English clergyman, who has knowingly subscribed Canon XXI., has violated his original subscription, "non aliam sit observaturus,"--"that he will use no other." Nor can it be doubted also, that in affirming, by subscription, that this same Office has been "long adopted," and is of "primary authority," he has asserted that which is historically not true. And it is [34/35] somewhat remarkable how any persons who knew the history of the form, and that it only sprung into being in 1765, could feel themselves justified in proposing such terms to any one for subscription.
There will be those who would endeavour to prevent that separation which otherwise must occur, by saving, It is creating schism for a very small difference! To this there are two answers
1st, If the difference really is small, why rob the English clerk of the liberty which, till the year 1838, he enjoyed in Scotland? Or, still farther, if the difference is small--if the Scottish Clergy, in using an Office which is literally, and to a plain and simple mind, essentially conformed to the Mass, do not mean to express a leaning towards Romish error--if they ask for what they do not dare to wish, nor believe to happen-- if they hold no change in the elements, and no material sacrifice of them to God, then why not throw aside a form which maintains all this broadly--which never was national--which never could, in the circum stances of its obscure generation, be national and binding--and which is the only real impediment to perfect unity and intercommunion? Would not wisdom and interest prescribe this course? If the Scottish Clergy, for the sake of this Office, still refuse to take that course, can the difference be small? Is it so regarded by themselves?
The other answer is, that small apparent differences in forms may be vitally important, There was a [35/36] period in the history of the Church when the difference between orthodox and heterodox opinion was expressed by a single letter. The difference of an iota--the difference between Homoousion and Homoiousion contained, in its limits, the essential difference between Arian and Catholic doctrine. The one asserted a very same Divine nature in Christ; the other only a resemblance. A single letter--an insignificant iota--seemed a little matter to make a stand upon; yet the difference between the two words was infinite! What would have been thought of the Presbyter or Bishop who subscribed both; and felt himself prepared on either side, as circumstances called for it, to say, "The signature of the one is an effectual bar to my being supposed to hold the other?" Instead of thus justifying his, position, by a reference to the fact that he had signed both, he should have felt that if he had signed one, honesty and straightforwardness absolutely required him not to sign the other.
Now, the difference is not more important between Arian error and Catholic truth than between the English and the Pseudo-Scottish Office. It is as impossible to sign both fairly, as to sign the Arian and Catholic Creed. The one nullifies the other; the one extrudes the other. The two sets of dogmas cannot coexist in the same mind; and it is to be feared that some of the Scottish Clergy feel this strongly. If they do, it is hard upon their English brethren to place them in circumstances of such painful inconsistency. It is unjust, [36/37] while they are using the most strenuous efforts for more unrestricted admission into England, that they should, by new Canons, hastily adopted, close the doors to their eagerly recognized English brethren. And they will take nothing by their motion. The Church of England never can recognize them as in full communion, nor cordially favour their aspiring wishes, till this Service is thrown overboard.
If, however, in this view we are mistaken; if the Scottish Clergy do not lay great stress on the doctrinal differences in the two Offices; then, most assuredly, there is a plain and manly course before them, to which the circumstances of this controversy point. Let them lay aside, as quietly, and as respectfully towards "the two Bishops," as they please, but let them lay aside that which has been so long, and so uselessly, a bone of contention. Composed, as they are, to a very great extent, of English Clergymen, let them symbolize entirely with the English National Church. Let the imputation to which this Office fairly exposes them be cast aside; let nothing inconsistent with English subscription be asked of Englishmen; and then a peaceful and prosperous harmony may yet bless the whole Episcopal Community, which shall be the harbinger of brighter days!